Before anything is dyed, the fabric first needs to be mordanted. To see our mordanting directions please click here for protein fibers (wool, alpaca, silk), and here for cellulose fibers (hemp, linen, cotton).
Now here's the fun part! You get to choose between bundle dyeing and solid dyeing. Bundle dying results in a beautiful, mottled, painting like fabric, which works great on towels, scarves, or clothing. It can be done on yarn, but it will result in more of a subtle variegated effect.
Once you remove the fabric from the mordant bath, squeeze out any excess water from the fabric, and lay the fabric out flat. Take your raw dye materials--flowers, petals, bark-- and arrange them on the fabric surface. The more dyestuff you place on the scarf, the darker it will become. Once you are happy with the amount and location of the dyestuffs, you can take a stick or tube to help you roll the scarf tightly, or just roll it on itself for a more loose rol (Be aware what tool you use--some barks may leave color!)l. The tighter the roll, the darker and more saturated the dyes will be. Roll the fabric until you reach the end. You have a couple of options of whether or not you’d like to keep it in log shape, or folding it more (if you didn’t use a stick) to create more patterns. Secure the fabric onto the tube with string, fairly tightly. You can either cover the fabric and let it sit overnight, or steam the fabric for a more immediate result. There are a couple of options for steaming: for small projects, you can place the fabric into a mason jar, place the mason jar into a dye pot, and fill the dye pot with around 2 inches of water outside of the mason jar. There is no need to boil--be careful as the jar may break--just steam. Steam for about an hour, and add more hot water to the dye pot if needed. Adding cold water increases the risk of breaking the jar.
Another option is to use a colander, or vegetable steamer as if you were steaming veggies. Be advised to not use the same kitchen tools you use to make food in--while most natural dyes are non toxic, they are inedible. In both steaming situations, once your fabric is to your liking shade wise, let it cool. Remove the string and unwrap. Most dyestuffs can be used more than once, so hold onto them! Rinse in cool water and air dry.
Solid dyeing with raw dyestuff:
All of the flowers in the packet will create the most vibrant colors when fresh. The tricky part is harvesting enough flowers to create a deep enough shade, so most dyers will either dry or freeze their harvested flowers until they have enough in weight. Natural dyeing with raw materials, like flowers, is very similar to steeping tea. Fill the dye pot with water, add the flowers, bring to a boil. Flowers from the seed pack will only need about 20 minutes for all of the dye to emerge, but often you can tell by looking at the flowers--the colors from the flowers will start to sadden and the liquid should be colorful. Adding more flowers will yield a deeper color. There are a couple of options for dyeing fiber: you can leave the dye flowers in the pot, but know that bits will become entwined into fabrics like yarn, making removal tedious. Another option is putting the fibers or flowers in a nylon bag, or straining out the flowers. For flowers, roughly 20-100% wof to flowers. The fibers can sit over night, or removed whenever the color becomes your jam. Keep in mind rinsing will remove about 1-2 shades of depth. For greater adherence of color, dry cure the fibers, or allow them to dry before rinsing. Rinse the fiber until the water runs clear. Air dry and enjoy!