DIY Naturally Dyed Scarf


Ever since I first played with dyeing, I've been wanting to experiment some more. I've been thinking about trying to dye with natural ingredients for months, and finally decided to give it a go. There's something so exciting and fun to watch the fabric change color, and I love the soft, subtle washed colors you get when dyeing with natural ingredients. I decided to try blueberries (for a purple color) and black beans (for a blue color). There's a handy chart here that can help you find out which ingredient you need to obtain your desired color.

Supplies

- Cotton or silk scarf (need to be 100% natural and white/undyed)
- Salt
- Large pot
- Two buckets
- Fruits, vegetables, or other natural ingredients. I used blueberries (for a purple color) and black beans (for a blue color). Here is a handy chart  that can help you find out which ingredient you need to obtain your desired color.

Step 1: Prepare your fabric

1. Pre-wash your scarf.
2. Place your scarf in a large pot. Add enough water to fully cover the fabric, and add salt at a 1:16 ratio (for example, one cup of salt for 16 cups of water).
3. Bring up to boil, then simmer for about on hour. The salt acts as a fixative for the dye.
4. Rinse the scarf in cold water and set it aside.
5. If you want to tie and dye, tightly wrap rubber bands wherever you want to create a design. Here is a handy chart (notice I love handy charts!) that shows several folding and tying techniques. I simply made a stripe pattern. If you just want to dye it plain, simply skip this step.

Step 2: Dye bath

I dyed a scarf in a cold dye bath of black beans (turned out blue), and another one in a hot bath of blueberries (turned out purple).



Black beans (cold dye bath)

I used about two cups of black beans for a quite long scarf (about 6.5 feet).

1. Put your beans in a bucket, generously cover them with water, and let them soak overnight. Place your scarf in a second bucket.
2. In the morning, strain the bean water into that second bucket (i.e. over your scarf). Generously cover the beans with clean water, and let them soak all day long.
3. In the evening, repeat step 2.
4. In the next morning, repeat step 2.
5. Keep repeating step 2 every 12 hours or so, until your scarf has soaked for about 3 days. It will start to smell a little, but nothing unbearable.
6. Remove the scarf, rinse it well (until the water runs clean and no more dye comes out) and let it air dry. Discard the beans.



Blueberries

I used about two cups and a half of (frozen) blueberries for a quite long scarf (about 6.5 feet).

1. Put your blueberries in a large pot. Add water at a 2:1 ratio (I used 5 cups). Bring up to boil, then simmer for about an hour.
2. Strain out water, discard blueberries, and return blueberry water to pot.
3. Add the scarf in the pot. Bring up to boil, then simmer for about an hour or two (depending on how dark you would like the dyed fabric to be). If you want the deepest possible color, turn off the heat and let the fabric sit in the pot overnight.
4. Remove the scarf, rinse it well (until the water runs clean and no more dye comes out), and let it air dry.




VoilĂ , enjoy your new scarf!

22 comments:

  1. looks really cool! great way to dye! but can you wash the scarf? in the washingmachine or handwash?

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    1. I hand washed them in cold water the first time, as I was afraid that they might bleed a little. The second time, I washed them in a cold wash cycle with a mild detergent in the washing machine and it went great, but I would avoid washing them with whites. Hope this helps!

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  2. Beautiful post Clemence! Earmarked this for an eventual project of my own.

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  3. BEAUTIFUL!! So gorgeous. I want to do this with beet juice, to make a pretty pink color. Thanks Love.

    Richelle from Lynn + Lou

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    1. Thank you! Beet juice sounds like a great idea :)

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  4. THanks for sharing! A lovely tutorial. I never know where to buy scarves to dye.

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    1. Thank you! I bought one at a local market for around $5, and made the two others with some white fabric I had on hand. I think you can also easily find some on Ebay. Just make sure they are 100% natural ((like cotton or silk) and white/undyed :)

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  5. Great!! Thanks for sharing, I love the blueberries dye :) xxx

    ABI

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    1. Thank you ABI! The blueberries is my favorite as well :)

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  6. That is genius! I would love to try these. Question, do the berry colored scarves smell good at all? P.S. I have a DIY on the blog today that I NEED you to take a look at! I was thinking of your cute blog the entire time I made them. haha. xx. McKenna Lou
    www.lynnandlou.com

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    1. Thank you McKenna Lou! No, unfortunately they don't smell anything :( And your tutorial is adorable! Love the pretty, cheerful colors.

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  7. Ohh! I love those colors, and the fact that you dyed them yourself is even more exciting!

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  8. i LOVE this tutorial! thank you so much for sharing the colors are delicious!

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  9. these are so, so pretty!

    grace
    http://herumbrella.com
    make sure to come and enter my giveaway!

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  10. Brilliant!! I've always wondered about natural dyes, like they used to use back in the day. I would love to experiment with pomegranates or beet roots (I'm sure the beet roots would give a very strong colour!!). Great job, thanks!

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  11. Super Fabulous!
    Where can I get one of those swell scarves you used? And how do you set the dyes so that you can wash them and wear them without the color rubbing off onto other clothing/skin?

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    1. Hi Wendy! I bought one scarf at a local market for around $5, and made the two others with some white fabric I had on hand. They are really basic! I think you can also easily find some on Ebay. Just make sure they are 100% natural ((like cotton or silk) and white/undyed :)

      As for setting the dyes, I did it with salt. I heard you can also do it with white vinegar or alum, but I didn't have any of those on hand, so I used salt which worked great! You can check out step 1 of the tutorial to see how I did it :)

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  12. Soooo beautiful! I'm going to have to try this! I need some new summery scarves anyway! :)

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  13. that's so cool, what a great idea !

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  14. Thank you so much for sharing! I will definitely be trying this!

    laviedetaylor.blogspot.com

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  15. Wow! That is gorgeous! I love how you used blueberries to give it a soft purple shade - it's so very lovely. :)

    xo, Adriana @ Horses of Ares.

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