Solar dyeing again

Dyed with onion skins

Some results of my solar dyeing experiment.

The dark fabrics are dyed with onion skins.  The fabric on the right is a linen damask napkin – it had already been dyed bright yellow by mistake and the solar dyeing has improved it.  The rest is cotton.

Mordants for the linen and the long piece were tea followed by milk. The squarer piece was mordanted with milk only: that seems to have given a darker colour.  The fabrics were in the jars for two months.

I love everything about the onion skin dyed fabrics: the colours are gorgeous especially in real life and I emptied the entire contents of the dye pot onto the compost heap without fear but there is one snag….

washing solar dyed fabrics

It has taken a fair bit of effort to get rid of that onion smell!!

solar dyed with coffee & dock

Solar Dyed Spotted cottons.

Both mordanted with alum.  The one on the left was dyed for two weeks in coffee grounds.  On the right are pieces dyed for two weeks with dock leaves. These were done earlier in the summer when the sun was stronger but I’m sure the results would have been better if left for longer.

I put far too much fabric in the jar with the docks so the effect is a bit too patchy.  I will probably overdye it next spring. This is definitely a very slow process.

There are still jars containing beech leaves, hops and beetroot in the greenhouse. Something is definitely happenning to the first two but I think the beetroot is a lost cause and I’ll empty that soon. What I don’t know is whether the solar dyeing process will continue over the winter.  Should I bring the jars into the house over the winter? If anyone has tried this I’d be glad to know.

Thanks for dropping by.

Norma x




Filed under dyeing, solar dyeing, textiles

7 responses to “Solar dyeing again

  1. Pingback: Slow Processes – Rosyragpatch's Blog

  2. In the first photo, the fabrics in the middle and the right remind me of ultrasuede.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like the patterning on both the brown and the yellow-green. Have you any idea what you are going to use them for?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is so neat! I also love the colour of the pieces dyed with onion skins. The lingering onion scent is an interesting side effect that I hope you can fix. I’ve read that white vinegar helps set dyes and stops colours from fading so maybe a soak in that will help. And then you’ll have to deal with the scent of vinegar!

    I’m surprised the beetroot one doesn’t seem to be taking — I would have expected excellent results considering their intense colour.

    Liked by 1 person

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