Bundle dyeing with flowers
Here I am sharing my tutorial on how to bundle dyeing with flowers foraged from your garden or from an old bouquet.
I have been doing natural dyeing for a while, but this year I wanted to explore a new way of dying. In Spring we get lots of flowers in our garden, many are actually weeds, like dandelions or forget-me-knots and they last just a few weeks. During the year you might get a beautiful bouquet of flower, once it's old, before you through it away, why don't use the petals to make a bundle dye?
You can use any natural fabric like wool, cotton, linen and silk. Old t-shirts, tea-towels, pillowcases or fabrics that you can turn into anything. The great thing about natural dyeing is that it's a bit like magic, the result is always a surprise and even if the patterns and colour might fade after a year or so, you can always dye them again. If you like to find out more about natural dyeing I have an online course HERE where you can learn this craft in depth.
Fabric that you want to dye (pre washed)
Various type of flowers and leaves
A pot or steamer
A sieve (if you don't have a steamer)
STEP 1- prepare your fabric/t-shirt
Make sure they are pre-washed.
Next, you need to mordant your fabrics.
There are two options:
1. Do it now using one of the methods from my online Natural Dyeing course.
2. or later using vinegar
Wet your t-shirt/fabric by soaking it in water for a couple of minutes. Squeeze the water and lay it flat.
Place your flowers and leaves on your t-shirt. If you don't have enough to fill the whole surface, just fill half and then fold the t-shirt in half.
Start folding your fabric into a sausage.
Wrap and tie tightly with twine or strong rubbers. Twine is prefered as some low-quality rubbers might split with the heat.
Steam between 1-2 hours in a steamer or place 4/5 cm of water in a pot, add a sieve and place your bundle on it, close the pot with a lid. Turn the bundle every 30 minutes using thongs.
Let the bundle sit overnight.
Unwrap the bundle and remove the flowers. Soak the t-shirt in a bowl with vinegar about 200-400ml depending on the size of your t-shirt or fabric. Let it dry (avoiding the direct sun).
Once dry wash it in cold water with a delicate detergent, vinegar smell is horrible, and let it dry again. Finally, iron it to help fix the colour.
Wear it and enjoy it!
NOTE: As you can tell from the photos below, even though we used 90% of the same flowers for both my t-shirts and my daughter's top, the final result is quite different. That's the magic of natural dyeing. The quantities of the flowers used, the type of fabric, amount of vinegar/type of vinegar, how tight you made your bundle and how long you steamed the bundle for, are ALL factors that can have an impact on your final result.
AFTER CARE: hand wash in cold water with a delicate detergent or hand soap. The colours will fade slightly. Dry away from direct sun to protect the colour. Natural dye again the following year and let the fun continue.
I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial, I have another tutorial on solar dye here.
Also, you can find out more about natural dyeing and macrame on my book here.
Don't forget to share your results on social media or by email.
Take care and keep safe