SOLAR DYE TUTORIAL
- Scoured, pre-mordanted organic cotton bandanas — each weighs approximately 24g
- 1-quart canning jar with lid — you'll need one per bandana
- Medium bowl
- Kitchen scale
- Dye stuff — recommendations below
You will need dye stuff weighing between 100% and 200% of the weight of fiber. For a 24g bandana, aim for a minimum of 24-36g of flowers.
DYE STUFF & COLOR GUIDE
- Sulfur cosmos — orange
- Coreopsis — rust
- Black knight scabiosa — purple, blue
- Black magic bachelor’s buttons — purple, blue
- Black hollyhock — purple, blue
- Roses — mostly yellow, depending on variety
- Queen Anne's lace — yellow
- Goldenrod — yellow
- Marigolds — yellow
- Yarrow — yellow
- Dyer's chamomile — yellow
- Tansy — yellow
- Dandelions — yellow
Feel free to experiment with other varieties, but be sure to look up the toxicity of any flowers you’re not familiar with before using them in a dye project.
If you don’t have enough of a single flower to match 100% weight of goods, you can combine with flowers of a similar color family, such as bachelor’s buttons and hollyhocks or marigolds and goldenrod.
Soak the pre-mordanted bandana in a bowl of water for 1-24 hours before dyeing.
Measure out enough dye stuff (flowers) for your project. Wring out your soaked bandana.
Fill bottom half of jar with dye stuff, add bandana, and top off with dye stuff. Fill with water and seal with lid.
Hot water will jumpstart the dye process, but you could also use room-temperature tap water, rainwater, or even ocean water. Each will give slightly different results.
Place in a sunny spot in your yard or windowsill for 1 week.
Remove bandana and line dry out of direct sunlight. Leave hanging to cure for at least 24 hours, up to one week.
Once cured, wash in cool water with a PH neutral detergent such as Seventh Generation.
To set the color, steam iron on cotton/linen setting.
Machine wash delicate with PH neutral detergent.
Air dry for best longevity.
Iron if you wish. Store out of direct sunlight.
Wear often and enjoy!
When no longer useful, simply add to your compost.