Did you know that quality dyes can be made from natural materials? The craft of making such dyes was once a necessary household skill. The most common purpose for making dyes was for coloring fabrics. Flowers, berries, herbs, plants and even nuts may be used to make various colors. A deep purple dye can be made using fresh, ripe blackberries.
Things You'll Need
- Two large pots
- Light-colored fabric or clothing
- Rubber gloves
- Measuring cup
- Large wooden spoon
- Ripe blackberries
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Prepare the fabric by presoaking it in the first pot, using a fixative solution for berry dyes. See the "Tips" section for details on making this solution.
Put on rubber gloves to avoid staining your skin.
Use a measuring cup to determine how many cups of berries are to be placed in the second pot. Crush them lightly with the back of the wooden spoon. Place the pot containing the berries onto the stove.
Measure 2 times the amount of water as berries. For example, if you used 3 cups of berries, pour in 6 cups of water. Pour this water over the berries in the pot. Bring the contents to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to simmer. Wait until the water has turned a deep shade of purple. Strain the berries and discard them.
Place the damp, presoaked, fixative-treated fabric to be dyed into the pot. Let the fabric simmer in the dye until the desired shade is attained. Leaving it to rest in the dye overnight yields darker results. The fabric will appear lighter than the color of the dye in the pot. Squeeze out the fabric under cool, running water and let it dry.