Thursday, May 24, 2012

Solar Dyed Silks

I was recently given some lovely white playsilks and it got me thinking... natural dyes... hmmm... what colors we could create? 
 I researched the possibilities and choose the simplest ways I could find. 

Here is what we came up with...

 ~ Sunshine yellow ~

 and lilac purple ~ perfect spring colors!

Here’s what you’ll need

For Yellow....

3/4 cup of turmeric powder
Large pot 
White Playsilk

In the process of my research I found that Turmeric is a natural direct dye  and does not need any fixative at all.  Good stuff!  I also learned that apparently this is one of the ways the monks in Tibet dye their  beautiful yellow  robes.

First fill your dye pot half full of water and bring this to a boil.
Add the turmeric powder and continue boiling for an hour.

Pour your tumeric concoction into a jar and add your silk scarf. 
Place in the sun.
Let the solar rays do their work (for about one hot day)

Rinse the scarf until the water runs clear.
Dry and enjoy!

For Purple...

1/2 a purple cabbage 
1/2 cup White Vinegar (your fixative for your purple dye)
Large pot 
White playsilk
Cutting board

Chop the cabbage.

Add the vinegar to the cabbage and add enough water to cover the cabbage.

Bring the pot to a boil, and then turn down the heat to simmer it until the cabbage starts losing its color. 

When the cabbage has lost most of its color strain it.... keeping the water.

Place your cabbage water and silk scarf into a jar and place  in the sun.

Wait patiently as magic happens.
Rinse, dry and...

put into the hands of little people ready to play!

In the spirit of sunshine and Lilacs
~ Shanti ~

PS.  Don't forget to enter our's running all week long...the prize is a beautiful hand felted Toadstool purse.  Enter HERE and leave us a comment with a way of contacting you in case you're the winner! 


  1. Oh so wonderful, many thanks for the natural dye tips, cheers Marie

  2. The silks are beautiful, as well as the pictures! Thanks for sharing the recipes!

  3. Well, I always thought purple cabbage dyed things blue! Such a pretty purple and a stunning sunshine yellow.

  4. I used some turmeric in a food recipe last week and spilled some on the counter. The stains are still there. I have to start experimenting with dying my own felt. I don't know where to begin, though. Any suggestions?

    Happy weekend!

  5. Beautiful silks!! Can't wait to try this!!

  6. Wonderful post about natural dyes with sweet photos of dancing girls!

  7. I love the silks! What lovely colors, and what a great project.

  8. Stunning colours, and I adore your photos :-)

  9. I LOVE them! I have some playsilks laying around that are waiting to be dyed. I think I will try using natural dyes! Yours came out so vibrant and pretty! ~Robin~

  10. Oh, as much as I love these play silks, so vibrant and colourful, I want to know where you got your older daughter's dress! It's just beautiful and I would love to get/ make one for my daughter. :)

  11. Well, I always thought purple cabbage dyed things blue! Such a pretty purple and a stunning sunshine yellow. Cyberpunk 2077 Leather Jacket


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