Turmeric Dye

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.