How to Make Natural Dark Brown Dye for Clothing

Whether you want to dye an article of clothing brown or need to fix a spot that was accidentally bleached out, there are several natural plants and foods that can be used to create a natural dark brown dye. When dying fabrics, make sure that you have a piece of disposable fabric to use as a test piece. This will help you adjust the color to the desired hue.

Things You'll Need

  • Coffee beans

  • Cocoa powder

  • Walnut husks

  • Gloves

  • Large pot

Step 1

Decide whether to use cocoa powder, walnut husks or coffee beans to create a dark brown dye. Grind the walnut husks or the coffee beans, if you are using either of these. Measure out 1/2 cup of the raw ingredient, whether it is natural cocoa, walnut husks or coffee grinds. Wear gloves to avoid temporarily dyeing your skin.

Step 2

Pour the ground plant material or powder into a large pot. Add one cup of water to the pot and bring the solution to a boil. Turn the heat to low and allow the solution to simmer for approximately one hour.

Step 3

Wash the fabric that is going to be dyed then place the fabric in a 4-to-1 vinegar/water solution. Allow the fabric to steep in this solution for at least one hour. This solution allows the dye to become "fixed" to the fabric.

Step 4

Place the fabric and the vinegar solution into the pot with dye on the stove. Allow the fabric and dye to simmer until a dark brown color has been achieved. Wash the fabric in cold water by itself so that no dye is transferred to other fabrics.

References & Resources