How To Dye Fabric The Natural Way

Here’s a super easy project using turmeric powder to turn a boring white pillowcase into a gorgeous pop of color for your living room. There are no harsh chemicals or fumes involved.

Turmeric powder, which you can find for very cheap at any Indian grocery store, has the power to dye fabric a vibrant mustard color. Try making this boho-style pillow with a unique and eco-friendly dyeing process, created by Rinchen from High on DIY.

3. Step 1: Prepare the Dye.

Fill 3/4 of a large pot with water and add 5 tablespoons of turmeric powder, which is often used in cooking but is also a natural fabric dye. Put it to boil on medium heat. Keep checking on it while you do the following two steps.

4. Step 2: Lay your pillow case flat with the top part facing up.

Starting from one side, pinch a small piece of fabric from the top layer of the pillow case and tie a rubber band around it. Repeat it all over the top layer of the pillow case.

5. Step 3: Once all the tying is done, rinse the pillow case in cold water.

This will help the fabric pick up the natural dye better. Wring the excess water out of the pillow case.

6. Step 4: The water with turmeric should be boiling by now, so turn the heat to low and put the wet pillow case in it.

Use a large spoon to evenly sink the pillowcase in the turmeric dye. Let the pillow case boil in the dye for an hour to get a rich color. Stir it every 15 minutes or so to make sure the fabric is picking up the dye evenly.

7. Step 5: After an hour of boiling, take the large pot off the heat.

Let it cool down for 10-15 minutes. Then take out the pillow case and rinse it in cold water until you get rid of all the excess dye and wring it out.

8. Step 6: Remove all the rubber bands you had tied to the top layer of the pillowcase.

Spread out the pillowcase to see the beautiful design and let it dry. If it is too wrinkled after its dry, iron it out.

9. Step 7: Once the pillowcase is dry, pick the two sides you want to add pompom trims to.

Cut the trim to the length of the pillow case side and sew them together with the needle and thread.

10. Step 8: Add the pompom trim to the opposite side of the pillow case.

You now have a beautiful pillow case dyed naturally and embellished with a pompom trim in a contrasting color.

Pippa Armbrester is a quilt maker and designer. Follow her adventures in quilting and in life on her website.

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