Waste not want not as the saying goes. Our discarded turmeric is packaged and sold as a natural dye. This is a fantastic dye for children because it is non-toxic and completely safe.
Turmeric is a natural staining agent so try to confine it to just your craft making.
The turmeric makes a lovely soft lemon colour with the madras turmeric being the lighter of the two. The allepy produces a darker colour but is still closer to a lemon than the actual orange of the produce. The quantities below were used for two large table napkins (please adjust accordingly).
Stage 1: Stabilising
- You will need:
- 4 cups water
- 1/4 cup table salt
- white / light colored fabric of your choice
Note: An alternative mix is 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water (and use the same directions below).
- To stabilise the fabric:
- combine the water and salt in a non-reactive saucepan (e.g. stainless steel) and bring it to a boil
- add your fabric and let it simmer for one hour to allow the salt to act as a “fixative,” this will ensure the dye infuses into your fabric
- remove your fabric from the post and, when it is cool enough to handle, wring it out.
Rinse your pot ready for re-use in stage two.
Stage 2 – Dying
- You will need:
- 2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons of ground turmeric.
- To dye the fabric:
- combine the water and turmeric in the pot (remember, it needs to be a non-reactive pot such as stainless steel)
- bring it to the boil, and simmer for 15 minutes
- turn off the heat. Add the fabric to the pot
- use your wooden spoon to make sure that the fabric gets a nice even coating in the dye (move the fabric around in the hot dye mixture)
- leave the fabric to soak until the fabric is the color/vibrancy you want to achieve (check it after the first 5-10 minutes and then keep checking it every few minutes until you get to the required colour/vibrancy).
WARNING! To avoid uneven dying, ensure the fabric is fully submerge for the entire time (particularly after each time it is checked).
When the required colour/vibrancy is reached, rinse the fabric until the water runs clear.
Hang it out to dry. Voila! You can keep any excess dye from the saucepan in a glass jar in the fridge. However, this is essentially a food and will not keep for long.