Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Turmeric Dye

Yesterday morning I was scrolling through the explore section on Instagram and came across this image...

I went downstairs to the kitchen (which is soon to be painted) and the original yellow walls made me think. I love this colour but it isn't right for our small kitchen (I have bought a light grey paint) so inspired by the instagam post I looked up how to dye with turmeric and decided to give it a go. I am thinking of yellow kitchen accessories to go with the grey. 

I found this tutorial on turmeric dying and set to work...
Salt and water were brought to the boil and some unbleached calico (or muslin) was added to the pan to simmer for an hour

The calico was left to cool and removed from the pan, then excess water was squeezed out. I love Japanese Shibori dying techniques so I attempted some of those. 

But I didn't have wooden blocks so I used these plastic trees, I wondered what effect they would have. 

I also fold and twisted the fabric around a ladle handle

Then I made the turmeric dye by boiling the spice and water together before submerging the calico.

I left them in for about 20 minutes.

Rinsed them in cold water and hung them out to dry. They looked amazing until they dried and the colour faded to a yellowy brown. 

The little strip on top below was left in for two hours and the colour is much stronger. The fabric on the bottom is the dried fabric from above. 

I were to do it again I would leave the fabric in the dye for longer and maybe try a different brand of turmeric because the one I saw on the tutorial was more yellow and less orange.

Have you dyed with natural dyes? What were your experiences like?


  1. I like the subtle colour - wonder what would happen if you used it to overdye pale blue cotton, would it go green?!

  2. How disappointing to go brown. I keep meaning to have a play with dying fabric