Dye Lot

Sorry for such a long hiatus! I’ve been very busy with moving to a new city, beginning my externship and generally living.

I’ve been working on a lot of crafty projects lately, but one that I am the most excited about is natural onion dyes. I originally found a tutorial for it at Folk Fibers Blog. First I used all yellow skins, luckily I work at a restaurant and a pot full of skins was not difficult to find.

I chose to dye Sugar & Cream 100% cotton white yarn and I had enough onion skins to dye two skeins.

Yellow Onion Skins

I was expecting it to be very yellow, but it turned out to be this soft pink hue, which I love!

Let’s make some dye.

1. a

Get all of your onion skins and put them into a large pot. Red onion skins were everywhere, so I just rolled with it. Fill the pot up until the skins are completely submerged. Bring the pot to a boil, then simmer for an hour. I let the onion skins cool in the water for a couple of hours or overnight if you have the time. The longer they sit, the stronger the dye.

2. b

Once you’ve let the skins sit, drain the liquid into another pot. Make sure you squeeze all the liquid out of the onion skins that you can. While you are draining the skins out, take your yarn or whatever material you are dyeing and soak them for a few minutes in hot water.



Put the yarn into the dye bath and bring to a boil, then to a simmer for an hour. Here is the yarn right after I put it in the bath.


And here it is after I let it sit overnight. You can actually let it sit for a few days. Once again, the longer it sits, the stronger it is. At this point I was getting really excited because the color was such a deep purple/red color.



Then, I rinsed it. You need to rinse out all of the dye, until the water runs clear. The yarn begins to change color a lot. I’m not totally thrilled with the red onion skin dye. I thought the color would be a darker red color, and it turned more into a weird brown.

5. f

I dry the yarn on a clothes rack in my bathtub. I put a small fan on it to help it along because by this time by patience was killing me.

6. brown


The yarn definitely looks very natural, but not at all red. Pretty tan, actually.

It is nice, but not what I thought would come out of it. However, that is the joy of crafting. Surprises.

Hopefully I can make blogging more of a weekly occurrence, so stay tuned!



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