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This week I took on the small project of vegetable dying my own ribbon. In the floral community hand dyed ribbons are a sought after item and for good reason. They are made using beautiful materials and the natural dyes give such rich yet subtle colours. I wasn’t trying to make an item that could compete with these professionally dyed pieces but I was definitely inspired by them!
I had such a fun time experimenting with this! The colours that came from different fruits and vegetables surprised me totally. Usually, when I make tutorial blog posts I like to be confident in the information I am sharing. Let’s just say this post is a little bit different! Today I am sharing what I did during my first time vegetable dying fabric – what worked, what didn’t work, and the outcome. I’m not an expert here but I’m going to share the entire step by step process of how I did this – feel free to tweak it or follow it as you wish! I found that the process takes a bit of trial and error and there are more exceptions than rules! I loved this project though and how all the ribbons turned out. To boot, dying ribbon this way was super easy and seriously…so much fun!
You will have best results working with a natural fibre. The following are great:
Since my small town Fabricland didn’t have any silk I went for a crinkle cotton!
This was the most interesting part, on the photo below I outline what colour each fruit created. Avocado makes peach…what?!
I’ll outline what I found with each colour below.
Avocado – I used a mix of avocado and onion skins and this was one of the most reliable dyes of the bunch. I have read that avocado creates blush and onion skins create yellow which is likely why I came out with peach! I left the 2 ribbons in the solution for 10 and 20 minutes and the colour change is reflected. This dye held on the ribbon well and did not rinse off.
Cherry – Cherry created a very dark purple/pink water. The lavender colour was created by sitting in the solution for 10 minutes in and the blue is from 20 minutes and 2 rinses instead of 1. The dye held on the ribbon well and did not rinse off.
Raspberry – in search of a soft blush I tried another fruit – raspberry! The water became bright pink as did the ribbons. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) the colour did not hold when rinsed and washed off completely to make a soft yellow. 20 minutes in the solution created a lovely yellow.
Blueberries – A lovely purple/blue created and I only left the ribbon in for 10 minutes. The dye holds very well when rinsed.
Beets – I was expecting deep pink ribbons in the end they produced more of a rusty colour. The dye washed away completely when rinsed so I opted not to rinse the ribbon but rather let them cool and just wring them out. Without a rinse the end result is a bit streaky.
Carrots – Don’t even bother.
This was my first round of trial and error but I imagine results could vary by letting the water boil for longer; adding more fruit; leaving the ribbons in for longer; using different materials etc. There are so many variables! I loved seeing all of the colours and the results are truly so pale and beautiful. Even if the colours were not as expected I loved them all!
So friends, there you have it! Despite the unexpected colour results I would definitely call my first time dying ribbon a success! The colours are beautiful and I’m so excited to use these to wrap up some bouquets and gifts.
Once you have this little system down there are so many options for what you can make! I am excited to try different fruits (like strawberries next…still on the hunt for the perfect blush!) and make different pieces. Thinking linen napkins, cotton table runners, silk sashes!
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