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Eco Dyeing With Flowers: Part 2, The Results!

It’s time to share the results from last week’s eco dyeing experiment! I can’t stress how much I enjoyed this project…it is something I am excited to practice at and do more of. We left off last week with the steaming – I steamed my bundles for an hour and then let them sit in plastic bags overnight to try and let the colors steep a bit more. As for the results…I have both good news and bad news.

If you missed part one, be sure to go back and read for instructions on how to prepare your bundles!

eco dyeing with flowers

When I removed the bundles the next day I knew immediately that one had worked and one most likely had not.  The one on top was the bundle made with a bouquet of roses, lilies, and chrysanthemums. The one on the bottom was a mixture of primroses, begonias, African violets, and more rose petals. I could see that the one on the bottom was much more colorful and had some dye seeping out of it. The bad news is, I was right about the first bundle.  The rose petals, lilies and chrysanthemums did not seem to have had any effect on the fabric and all I was left with was a slightly greenish tint to the cloth.

eco dyeing with flowers

The second bundle, however, was much more promising! It even looked pretty when I first unrolled it. Remove all of the petals and leaves from the cloth and hang it up to dry. Tip – save your plant materials! Let them dry out and use them to make some potpourri :).

eco dyeing with flowers

eco dyeing with flowers

I absolutely love how this came out! The flowers that worked the best from this first experiment are definitely the primroses (which were pink and purple) and the begonias (the ones I used were a reddish orange color). I think I’m even more excited about taking what I’ve learned and experimenting further…testing out new colors and patterns, there’s no end to what you can do with this! I was originally thinking about using this to make a scarf but I think I may just hang it right on my wall as a tapestry. If you are dying something that you want to be able to wash/wear, be sure to fix the fabric first.  To do this, let it boil for one hour in a large pot of 4 parts water to one part vinegar prior to dyeing.

eco dyeing wtih flowers

For instructions on preparing bundles please refer to Eco Dyeing With Flowers: Part One.

If any of you try this I’d love to see photos! Send ’em to :).

More DIY Projects from the BLDG 25 Blog.

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rachel -January 29, 2013, 11:35AM

oh it came out so LOVELY!! the colors are perfect. that is such a fun project. i can’t wait to try it.
peace & love

Megan -January 29, 2013, 12:42PM

It came out so pretty! This would be a beautiful scarf, but your right, I think it looks good on the wall as well.

Sarah -January 29, 2013, 1:52PM

This is fantastic! I can’t wait to try!

Myee -January 29, 2013, 8:45PM

Hi Julia… We love this post..x We do a lot of plant dyeing within our range.. We use the local flowers of the tibouchina, gum leaves and she-oak to create our little pieces of art on silk..x check them out if you get a chance we’d love to know what you think..xx
Good luck with your plant dyeing..xx

Agnès -January 30, 2013, 6:54AM

Something tells me this will turn brown with time…. It would be awesome if it didn’t. I guess I’ll have to try and see!

Jasmine -February 5, 2013, 3:43AM

i bought some cheap couloured flowers fom the nursery and tried this. i will put up my photos, the material actually turned out quite well!

Alexandra -August 15, 2013, 4:00PM

Hey! I did this project on a white shirt…but when I washed it after wearing it the colors went away :/. Do you think there is anyway we could make the colors stick?

please and thank you,

Jane -September 4, 2013, 5:21PM

I think I might try this with white pillow cases as well as a tapestry.
Love this idea!

Dawn Savage -November 20, 2013, 1:56PM

Hi, I love your textiles you did, they are great and thank you so much for sharing how you did it. I have been anxious to try this method and plan on doing it soon. I live in Az. and want to try out some of our native plants etc. to see how they work. And leaves, need to find some of them. Blessings, Dawn

Emily -November 6, 2015, 5:16PM

I used a vegetable dying technique and cooked the cloth and yarn in 1:4 vinegar solution too, but the color easily came out??

Libby -December 7, 2015, 1:58PM

Can you imagine the colors if you used thinly sliced beets, broccoli and bits of orange zest? I think Ill try some fruits and veggies with this method!

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