As far as crafting workshops go, tie-dying is about as hippy dippy as things can get. Call the girls, put on that caftan, light some incense, and join us for a little summer tie-dye DIY with two all-natural Northern California brands we love.
Earlier this month, ultra-natural beauty brand Earth Tu Face hosted designer Celine Thibault inside their brand new “Earthship” boutique and apothecary. Celine works with Juniper Ridge (see them in action here!), a company that forages plants and herbs up and down the West Coast and distills perfumes and incense – their Campfire line of incense sticks are some of our favorites.
Inside the workshop, ladies each dyed their own silk handkerchiefs using sustainably harvested and native plant dyes. We’ve got the full DIY for you below and only wish we’d secured that delicious-looking herbal cocktail recipe pictured as well!
on HARVESTING natural dyes…
Select Seasonally: Plants offer up different qualities throughout the year. Base your harvest selection and date on plant-growth cycle.
Consider Every Part: Each part of the plant is a possible dye source: bark, leaf, flowers, etc.
Choose Wisely: Be careful not to harvest parts of the plant necessary for reproduction, and never harvest more than 20% of the plant. Always wear gloves and protective clothing.
PART 1: PREP the space
– Wash fabric in hot water with non-chlorine detergent.
– Dry at high heat to avoid future shrinkage.
– Fill a pot with 2-3 gallons water, add 35 grams soda ash, add fiber, stir.
– Bring to a light boil, heat half-covered for 2 hours, stirring regularly.
– Shut off heat, allow to cool. Rinse and hang dry.
PART 2: MORDANT
Follow these directions for cotton fibers:
Step 1: Tannin Mordant
– Weigh dry fiber to calculate amount of mordants (tannin & alum).
– Fill pot with enough water to cover fiber.
– Add previously scoured, wet fiber and tannin mordant. Stir.
– Heat at 200 F for 45 minutes, shut off heat, allow to cool.
Step 2: Alum Mordant
– Once more, fill pot with enough water to cover fiber.
– Add measured alum per WOF, heat for 45 minutes at 200 F. Stir.
– Shut off heat, allow to cool, rinse thoroughly and dyr or dye.
PART 3: DYE BATH
Step 1: Test The pH
Test the pH of your water source. Some dyes are very sensitive to pH. You can raise or lower the pH if necessary.
Step 2: Fill The Pot
Fill stainless steel pot with 3 G water, add dye stuff.
Step 3: Heat It Up
Heat to between 185 F and 200 F. Certain dyes are heat sensitive like madder root.
Step 4: Add the Fiber
Add prepared fiber to the bath and heat for 45 minutes.
Step 5: Cool It Off
Shut off heat and allow bath to cool.
Step 6: Develop The Color
Pour pot contents into a bucket to allow greater color intensity to develop.
Step 7: Rinse And Dry
Rinse fiber and hang to dry.
PART 4: fabric CARE
Machine Washing Method
Wash in cool to warm water with non-chlorine detergent. Tumble dry on low heat or lay flat to dry
Hand Washing Method
Hand wash in cool water.
Each time you wash, some of your color will fade away. Natural pigment is also sensitive to light and time. This gives you the opportunity to build on the initial color with each coming season.