so excited to bring you another post from the lovely ladies of bird dog wedding. they really outdid themselves with this one, it’s stunning!


“I’ve always been fascinated by the colors you can create through natural dyeing. Mother nature can produce such a wide range of colors with depth you simply can’t find in synthetic dyes. And I mean who knew you could get pink dye through avocado pits!? So we’ve decided to put together a little step-by-step tutorial to hopefully inspire you try your own little dye project at home. You can try this with some curtains you want to update, a ball of yarn for your next knitting project, or just for the fun of seeing what colors you can achieve.” – Sarah

1. Start with clean and untreated fabric. Cotton, wool, and silk will pick up color much better than synthetic fibers.

2. Soak your fabric overnight in water to make sure it is fully saturated. This ensures it will pick up the dye color evenly.

3. Prep your dye material. A quick trip to your local grocery store or flower shop will provide all the inspiration and materials you will need to produce beautiful natural dyes.

One of the easiest and most satisfying materials to use are onion skins. They release their dye very quickly and produce a deep vibrant color. The red skins produce shades of brown while the yellow skins produce pale yellow to a deep golden amber. For this experiment we chose onion skins but a few other options to keep in mind:

Yellow- Turmeric, Onion, Pomegranates, Marigolds, Zinnias

Pink- Avocado pits, Prickly Pear, Annatto Seeds, Strawberries, Beets

4. Next, fill a large stainless steel pot with enough water to fully submerge the fabric. You want everything to be able to float around freely.

5. Place your dye material into the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer and place clean wet fabric in the pot. 

6. Let fabric and dye material slowly simmer for at least an hour, stirring occasionally. After an hour you can decide to take the fabric out if you’re happy with the color or just remove the pot from the heat and let it sit overnight.

7. Once you remove the fabric rinse it under cool water to remove excess dye. Hang your fabric to air dry and enjoy!”

how gorgeous are these fabrics they dyed!? i absolutely love the color palette! and kristen did such a great job capturing these images. 

i love how they dyed trims too! would be such a fun addition on a pillow or blanket.

those shades of pink are really speaking to me. thanks to an amazing group of vendors for pulling this off!

Concept + Execution: Sarah Reichardt with Bird Dog Wedding
Photographer: Kristen Kilpatrick

Model: Carmen Collins
Location: Airbnb designed by Claire Zinnecker


Add your own

    gabriella says:

    Such absolutely beautiful colors. Hoping to use this DIY to dye my own table runner and napkins! Thanks for the idea 🙂


    marina says:

    I have been wanting to try fabric dyeing forever now. What wonderful inspiration!

    Melanie says:

    I just love the soft colors the fabric dye created! It’s so beautifuL!

    Huub Ricardo says:

    Wow, that’s awesome. But will the food smell stay on? Maybe a weird question.

    Vicky says:

    Excelent! 100% inspiration to create lovely things!

    Martinna says:

    What a great inspiration 🙂 I`ll try to create some my own fabric.
    Thank you for that 🙂

    avital says:

    beautiful and inspiering!thank you for the idea!

    Ana says:

    Any tips for ensuring that the dye stays in and doesn’t come off (or onto other things) in the wash?

    Daphne says:

    What a charming post and clever idea, colours are so tender. I think it would be a wonderful craft activity with my kids.

    Meghan says:

    Love this! What is a good resource for where to buy untreated fabric? Thanks in advance. Would like to try this.

    Janel says:

    Love this!! Been wanting to try natural dying. Beautiful post!

    melbajo says:

    this is gorgeous, but if some kind of mordant isn’t used to set the color, it will wash out and fade in the sun and very quickly return to white. i speak from experience – i made curtains dyed with beet juice and the beautiful reds and purples were gone within a couple of weeks. mordant should be part of this tutorial.

    Keith Erik says:

    Yes, I agree with melbajo, I did a semester study on natural dyes and mordant is needed to set and light fast the dyes. They will fade faster then commercial dyes but the mordant will keep it from fading a bit longer. Alum, copper are commone mordants I use.

    Chloé says:

    This is amazing!
    I met fiber artist Kristin Morrison a couple months ago at a natural dyeing class and still did not get over it!
    I also experimented with shibori a couple weeks ago and will post an article on this subject soon!
    I’m definitely keeping this article in my favorites. So much to learn and experiment with.
    Thanks for sharing!

    Rhonda Preece says:

    Just wondering, if not using a mordant, how long colours will last before fading?

    mercedes says:

    yes, no mordant, no color. beautiful photos but incomplete tuorial.

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    carole paxton says:

    I believe that cellulose fabric has to be mordanted before dyeing for the dye to hold, and that only silk which is protein did not need a mordant?

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