Natural Dyes

Dyeing Shirts Naturally


I wanted to naturally dye some shirts with walnut dye. First, I soaked black walnut husks for some months and poured off the black liquid. Next I experimented with 4 shirts.

I soaked all the shirts in 2 tablespoons of alum and cream of tartar overnight. For shirts 3 and 4 I simmered them in another 1 tablespoon of alum and cream of tartar the next day.

  1. I simmered shirt 1 in the walnut dye for a couple of hours and then simmered it in a pot with 1 tablespoon of iron modifier. The shirt immediately turned quite gray.

  2. For shirts 2 and 3 I simmered them in walnut dye for a couple of hours. I expected shirt 3 to have a deeper color, but they both ended up with a light brown. I would have liked to have a richer brown.

  3. See above.

  4. I simmered shirt 4 in turmeric water. I mixed in around 3 oz of turmeric into a few gallons of water. The shirt turned into a beautiful turmeric yellow.