Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Tuesday Tutorial - Natural Dyeing with Onion Skins

A little while back I managed to get a little burn mark on one of my blouses that wouldn't come off.
Although the burn was small, it was in a really obvious place and with no way to remove it I thought I'd have to say goodbye to what, other than that was a perfectly fine blouse...

And then I remembered something I did in college!

Onion dying!

Now the instructions for this vary depending on what fabric you're using, for this tutorial I'm using a 100% cotton blouse, if you use a synthetic fabric chances are it either won't take or will be very faint and then wash out first time you wash it.
Onion dying works really well on wool although I can't remember how to fix it to wool.

You'll need a large pan (big enough to get eight cups of water into)
Half a cup of salt
Onion skins (I saved up the skins from six onions for this, if you want a darker colour you could use more)

Add the salt and water and blouse (or whatever you're using) to the pan and then boil, it's important to let it boil as this helps the dye fix to the cotton.

When the water reaches the boil add in the onion skins and stir with a wooden spoon, you should see the water start to change colour almost straight away.

Make sure to give the mixture a stir every five to ten minutes, this is to make sure that the cotton dyes evenly rather than being patchy.

After an hour, turn the heat off and let the blouse sit in the mixture as it cools (15-20 mins).
wring out the liquid from the blouse and pick off any bits of onion that may be stuck to it.

Hang your blouse up somewhere and leave it to dry out completely before wearing.
Because of the fixing stage at the start your blouse should be safe to handwash, I wouldn't recommend machine washing though.

And now with an outfit:

I'm not really sure what the black thing blocking my legs off is :/ Hopefully I'll be ale to get better pictures of this outfit soon :)

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