This project is amazing! You have to try this bundle dye method. The end result is so beautiful. I will detail out the steps from preparing your fabric to showing how you bundle dye on your stovetop using steam.
Part one: the prep
Scour & clean your fabric
The first step in creating your own beautiful flower dyed fabric is to prep & scour your fabric. This step is done to literally create a blank slate. Stripping your fabric of any chemicals or treatment. This allows your colors to be absorbed & really become vibrant & pop!
Here’s what I did:
✨ Fill a large pot with water, bring to a boil.
✨ Next, wearing gloves & a mask, prepare your mordant agent.
✨ In a measuring cup add 1 tsp of washing soda aka soda ash to warm water & let it dissolve. The washing soda can be found in grocery stores or Target. Add this to your pot. Make sure you have the vent going & windows open.
✨ Next add in chemical / fragrance free laundry soap, *about* a tsp as well to your pot (you see that spill over 🙊).
✨ Add your fabrics to the pot & simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally.
✨ Drain, then in your sink, create a vinegar bath for your fabric. Fill the sink with water and add in 1/4 cup vinegar, let soak. This is used as a fixative. All this prep helps keep those beautiful flower colors bright.
✨ Lastly, ring out or use your washer on spin to remove water from your fabrics. You want them to be damp, not super wet.
Your fabrics are now ready to dye! 💐 🎨
These steps clean, remove and enhance your fabrics ability to absorb the colors from the natural materials better. I read this can be skipped, you’ll just have a less vibrant outcome in the end. However, you’d be surprised how much comes off the fabric when you do this. That invisible layer of chemicals, it’s nice to strip that away!
Part two: the dye process
Natural dye flower magic
I can’t get over the end result. The magic, the beauty. The flowers kiss the fabric leaving a stain of pure art. You have to try this!
After prepping the fabric (check my reels for part one), the fun begins. A blank canvas awaits and the designs are endless.
Here’s what I did:
✨ material: I used a variety – 100% cotton, 100% rayon and a linen / cotton blend.
✨ sprinkle flowers both dried or fresh, spices and even kitchen waste like red onion skins! I personally used: dried roses, dried calendula, dried hibiscus (this one really pops), dried leaves (these ones not so much), wilted purple aster, garden picked blue cornflower, and turmeric.
✨ for smaller fabric, roll, then fold into a bun. Wrap tightly with a rubber band or twine. For larger fabric pieces, fold first then roll & wrap.
✨ place fabric in a steamer pot (I read you can insert a colander into a stock pot if you don’t have a steamer). Make sure you have enough water for a long steam, but don’t allow the water to touch the fabric. Steam for an hour with the lid on.
✨ half way through, turn your fabric bundles over. Once the hour is up, let your fabric rest and cool down a bit.
✨ unwrap and shake off all the plant material
✨ do not rinse (just yet), keep out of direct sunlight. In a couple days, after the plant dye cures, then you can rinse / wash your fabric with a gentle cleanser.
Each piece is one of a kind, beautiful and is like an abstract painting of nature! I love the whole flowers that imprinted and came through on the fabric. Can’t wait to make a beautiful robe next 💐✨