Autumn is finally upon us and with it the rich colours of turning leaves, colourful pumpkins and richly coloured food. All that makes me want to bring a little of those warm, jewel-like colours into my home. Fabric is something I like to work with as it’’s easy to change according to seasons. I’’m not suggesting that you change anything like your curtain colours on a regular basis, but instead add small accessories like napkins or a table cloth.

As you might recall, I like to occasionally dye my own fabric (see my tie dye wall hanging tutorial here) as I find it a fun and cheap way to create fairly personal fabrics.

This time I wanted to keep things as environmentally friendly as possible, so I opted to use completely natural ingredients. It does of course help that the colour I wanted to achieve was a really warm yellow. Not my usual colour, but I wanted something that would contrast nicely with my usual greys and this certainly does.

So, I decided to use turmeric. Turmeric on its own will give a relatively fresh and sunny yellow. As I wanted the fabric to look a little more autumnal, I decided to add black tea to the mix. The tea gives the yellow of the turmeric a warmer and deeper colouring which works beautifully at this time of the year.

Read on if you would like to have your own natural napkins!

 

here's what you'll need...

  • 4 pieces of 100% cotton or linen fabric, each around 30 x 30cm
  • 6 litres of water
  • 20 black teabags
  • 30g ground turmeric
  • 100ml vinegar
  • wooden spoon to fit over your pot
  • 1 or 2 paper clamps

Natural Dye Napkins Materials 1

tip

Turmeric will dye absolutely everything, so you might want to put on an apron, use a spoon that you don’’t mind getting slightly yellow and make sure it you wipe any spillages immediately off your work surfaces.

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Natural Dye Napkins Post 3

 

here's how it's done...

  • 1

    If you have a large piece of fabric, tear it into the right sized pieces. Frayed edges is exactly what you want and what you won’’t achieve by cutting. If the fabric is new, you will have to wash it once before it can be dyed.

    Boil the water with the vinegar, put the teabags in and turn the heat down to let the tea simmer for a good 10-15 minutes.

    Natural Dye Napkins Steps 1 and 2

  • 2

    Soak the fabric in cold water and wring it out. Lay the pieces on top of each other and start wrapping them around the wooden spoon.

    Wrap around 1/3 of the fabric around the spoon and secure with a clamp.

    Natural Dye Napkins Step 3 and 4

  • 3

    Add the turmeric and stir. Now put the wooden spoon on top of your pot and suspend the fabric into the water. The fabric will immediately take on the colour and slowly “travel” upwards. Leave like this for an hour on a low heat.

    After an hour, take the fabric off the spoon and drop it into the water. Give it a little stir and leave for another 15 minutes.

    Tip the entire content of the pot into the sink and rinse the napkins with clear water. Leave to dry.

    Natural Dye Napkins Step 5

  • 4

    That’’s it! Your napkins are ready for your autumnal table (and stay tuned as I’ll be sharing my own Autumn tablescape using these very napkins soon!).

    Natural Dye Napkins Post 2

    I hope you like them!

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By Carole Poirot on 07.10.14

Guest Contributor

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