How to Make Black Dye


Natural plant matter, that may already be in or around your yard, is an economical and environmentally sound option for making dye. Making your own dye, gives you even greater ownership and control over the projects you craft. One of the more difficult dye colors to make is black since there are few black plants or fruits from which you can extract that color. The most effective source of natural black dye is oak galls. These are growths on oak trees that are created by natural plant hormones and chemicals released by inhabiting insects.

The dye created by the galls is a true black, surprising as the galls are green to light brown, according to the Tehachapi (California) News. In reporting the July 2008 visit of Native American basketmakers, demonstrating the dye process, "Oak Stem Galls Used for the Blackest Dye Imaginable" notes that after adding the galls the mixture is clear and dying looks "unlikely," but the brew eventually becomes dark black.

Things You'll Need

  • Oak galls
  • Hammer
  • Knife
  • Pot
  • Water
  • Colander
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Gather oak galls and smash them with a hammer. Get them into small, manageable pieces.

  • Chop up the oak gall with a knife. Get each piece down to the size of a raisin or smaller.

  • Dump the oak gall into a pot. Add twice as much water as there is oak gall. It doesn't have to be a perfect amount, so make your best estimate

  • Set the pot on the stove and bring it to a boil. Turn the heat down once it boils and let it simmer for an hour.

  • Put a colander inside a large mixing bowl. Pour the contents of the pot into the colander to separate the oak gall from the liquid. Discard the oak gall. The liquid can now be used as dye.

Tips & Warnings

  • The dye can be used with a brushing or soaking method. When dying fabric, let it soak in the dye overnight to achieve maximum darkness.
  • Use a rusty iron pot or add a rusty nail or two to your dye as the rust helps the dye become more permanent.
  • Acorns may also be used.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Burke/Triolo Productions/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Dye Black Clothing

    Black clothing easily fades after repeated washing and wear. But don't worry; it's easy to get your favorite black clothes back to...

  • How to Make Black Food Coloring

    Learn How to easily Make a dark shade of Black Food Coloring by following this simple template of instructions.

  • How to Make the Color Black Paint

    Through science, we know that black objects absorb light while white reflects light. In order to create black from mixing paints, we...

  • How to Make Black Walnut Dye

    Crafters use dyes from nuts to stain their creations a variety of colors. Black walnuts will create a rich brown dye for...

  • How to Dye Clothes Black Naturally

    Long before people could walk into a store and purchase a box of chemical dye, clothes were dyed using plants and other...

  • How to Dye Clothes at Home

    Dyeing clothes at home can be a quick and easy way to design your own style or refresh some faded fabrics. Dyeing...

  • Homemade Black Fabric Dye

    Coloring fabric is easy if you have the right dye. You can go to any arts and crafts store and pick up...

  • How to Make Black Hair Look Natural

    Black hair dye can make your hair look artificial and wash out your face if the shade isn't exactly right for you....

  • How to Make Tie Dye Black Leggings

    When attempting to tie dye a dark colored or black fabric, you cannot add new color effectively so the process is referred...

Related Searches

Check It Out

DIY Wood Transfer Christmas Ornaments

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!