A quick trip quick trip to the grocery store will reveal everyday items that can be used to create vibrant, all-natural dyes that are safe to handle and easy to use.
Natural dyes produce a lot of color, said Abby Wetsman, a sales associate at Chateau Sew & Sew. Wetsman studied fibers at Savannah College of Art and Design where she learned techniques for creating fabric dyes from natural ingredients.
The techniques used to create fabric dye can work on eggs too, she said.
Here are some of the ingredients Wetsman suggested for dyeing Easter eggs:
► Onion skins - Red or yellow (Use the dry, outer layer of onion to create the dye)
► Cabbage - about 1 cup of cabbage to a cup of water
► Beets - 1-2 beets, chopped (Beets don't work well with fabric)
► Tumeric - About a tablespoon per cup of water (Add more as needed)
► Spinach - As much as you want!
► Carrots - 1-2 carrots, chopped
Take the ingredient, soak it in water anywhere from 30 minutes to a day before, or you don't have to soak it at all. Bring the water to a boil, let simmer for about 30 minutes, and then let cool.
For a more even dye, strain the ingredients from the water.
Take the colored water and place in separate cups. For fun, Wetsman said you can experiment by adding small amounts of salt or vinegar to the dyes to deepen or darken the hues. These agents also act as mordants helping the dye adhere to the eggs or fabrics.
Purple cabbage -- Adding vinegar turns it more red; Leaving it alone turns it more blue
Eggs -- Using white-shelled eggs will give them a more vibrant color. Brown eggs will work, but won't be as vibrant.
Other -- Coffee and tea can also be used as natural dyes (although maybe not the favorite choice for Easter)
Water -- The less water, the stronger the color
"What's so fun is you can experiment, and it's always different," Wetsman said. "It all depends on how bright and concentrated you want the colors to be."
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