DIY Blackberry Dye
Last summer I started experimenting with all natural and organic dyes that come from Mother Nature. Baby onesies are perfect garments to dye and experiment with! Baby will only wear for a few months, will mostly like be stained by other foods, and why not add colors into baby’s basic white onesie wardrobe?
Today I’m sharing my trials and errors of dying fabric with blackberries and the varying result that I got…
I started with 2 brand new onesies and 2 packages of blackberries.
Buy conventional blackberries for your DIY dye. Organic for eating!
2 cups blackberries
4 cups water
- Put on an apron to save your current outfit from the DIY dye.
- Combine blackberries and water in a pot. Mash very well to release all the juices. *I used my wok because it’s wide and flat. A large sauce pot will work well too.
- On the stove. Bring the mashed mixture to a simmer, let simmer for 30 minutes to get out all the natural dye from the blackberries.
- Remove from heat. Let cool. Strain out mashed blackberries with a very fine strainer. *I used the strainer from my coffee maker, worked well but was almost too fine and took a while. BUT was easy and helpful to strain right into coffee pot. **The blackberries will also stain a white porcelain sink, but only temporarily, so don’t worry.
- Rinse orginal wok/sauce pot or use another. Put fabric/onesies in and pour strained liquid in.
- Mix around to ensure that all of the fabric is saturated with the liquid. At first, you’ll get this pretty bright pink color, but this pigment will not stay this color or this bright.
- Let sit for at least 1 hour. *During one of my trials, I let the fabric sit overnight. The color was definitely deeper/darker… until I washed it. End results showed more time did not equal more color.
- Rinse fabric in sink until water runs clear. Hand wash in a bucket or sink. *One attempt, I absentmindedly poured the detergent right onto fabrics in bucket… created “bleach spots” on the blackberry dye. And not in a good way. Not wearable. **Add soap to bucket, then water, then fabric.
- Drip dry on a hanger, INSIDE. *Hanger is important because the blackberry dye will continue to run a little in the drying process. Hanging on hanger ensures no darker spots and even color distribution. **I put 2 damp onesies into the dryer to set the color… just got darker where it was wrinkled while in dryer. Not wearable. ***Drying outside the sun may significantly fade color.
- After dyed fabric/onesies have drip dried completely. Put in washing machine with regular laundry, dark load, cold water. Then dryer.
- ALL DONE!
Important to note that all of my fabric is 100% cotton. Other fibers may take dye differently and/or require fixative.
Top left: Dip dyed ombre. Approximately 3 hours soaking.
Top right: I read that soaking the fabric in a salt fixative will help natural dye take. Used fixative with this trial. Seemed to produce a warmer grey color.
Bottom Right: Blackberry dye. Approximately 3 hours soaking. No fixative. Produced a nice bluish grey color.
Bottom Left: Avocado dye. 10-12 old avocado pits brought to boil for 30 min. No fixative. Add fabric. Simmer 1-2 hrs. More time DOES = more color with avocado pits! *Older/dryer pits will give less color, which is why I needed more. Use same drying instructions as above. ** You may get random dark spots as seen below.
…And here’s my little cutie patootie modeling her new blackberry dyed long-sleeved onesie with a matching hair clip and dark denim.
Why it works:
Because it was dyed all naturally with blackberries from Mother Nature and love from Mom! ;D
Hope this tutorial was helpful for your own DIY dye projects and that my trial and error saves you from the same mistakes. I’m sure this won’t be the last of my all natural dye projects. I love the soft, calm and unisex colors of these onesies any baby could wear and I’m curious to see what other lovely shades I can achieve from what Mama Earth has provided us!