Turmeric (yes, TURMERIC) dyeing!

Since I've gotten so many new fibers lately, several of them undyed, I have been itching for the dyepot. All my old tools are still in Ohio - my no-food pots and pans, my citric acid, my old formulas, my many boxes of food coloring - so I'll probably pick some of that up when I visit the States in the summer. Until then, I'm investigating some other dye methods - first up is turmeric.

Turmeric is a yellow-orange spice mostly found in Indian cooking. The upside of this dye process is that afterwards, your house smells of an Indian restaurant ;)

Silk hankies mawata undyed silkworm coccoons

I started with about 35g of silk hankies, which I rolled up burrito-style - the idea was to get some uneven dye absorption, for a semisolid effect.

I soaked them in water for just a few minutes, then turned the heat up and waited for a boil. I added a few spoonfuls of turmeric to the mix, and stirred it all around.

After a minute or two of boiling, and after all the dye had exhausted, I washed it out and let the silk dry. What was my result?
Turmeric dyed mawata silk hankies spun on a drop spindle bright yellow natural dyeing

A BRIGHT, SUNNY yellow. I couldn't be more pleased with that color; it's just what I need for the end of winter and beginning of spring.

There were a few downsides to this dye session, however - stirring the hankies around left them a bit matted at the edges, so it's harder to separate them. There is still a little bit of powdered turmeric left in the folds and corners, as well. Also, I have read that turmeric is not a very colorfast dye - this yellow will probably fade over time.


1 comment:

  1. I have just started in the world of dyeing . . . attended a workshop a few weeks ago on vegetable dyeing . . . ohhhh so interesting! Enjoyed reading through your blog. Will add you to my own meager blogroll - will look forward to more of your posts.