Materials List: Dyeing to Design

Each group needs:

To share with the entire class:

  • capability to show the class Dyeing to Design PowerPoint® Presentation on Day 1
  • edible materials, five to seven items each; for best results, the more crushed/ground/chopped the material is prior to placing in the solvent, the more dye will be extracted; examples: red cabbage, beets, spinach, berries, onion peel (red & yellow), red plum, spices (turmeric, paprika, chili powder, cloves, etc.); check for individuals in the class who may have food allergies prior to sourcing materials
  • color swatches; to serve as a baseline for your dye colors based on the edible materials you choose; available for free at most home improvement stores
  • solvents: the higher the ratio of material to solvent, the greater the color intensity; the longer the materials are in the solvent, the greater the color intensity; measurements are approximate, but teachers should judge based on their class and group size.
    • water (500 ml): needs to be heated, and the longer the water and source materials are heated together the more intense the color for that concentration
    • alcohol (500 ml): should not need to be heated; works well for materials that may have a color change when heated; works quickly and is observable; if the source materials are observed to have the majority of color removed, the materials can be replaced with fresh material to intensify the concentration of the dye
    • vinegar: (500 ml): does not need to be heated; very little difference is observed between heating and not heating; useful for source materials that experience a color change based on pH.
    • acetone: (500 ml): should not be heated; requires glass for dye extraction as the acetone breaks down plastics; useful with extracting color from spices
  • application materials.
    • fabric/fiber: 100% cotton works best such as old t-shirts, sheets, towels, etc; can be cut up in small 4in x 4in squares and used; cotton, wool, silk, or bamboo yarns can also be used and the greater the percentage of the natural content the more dye is absorbed; heating the fabric/fiber in the dye and then allowing the fabric to remain in the dye overnight results in more intense colors; fabric should be rinsed using cold water; if the dye is from a source that is pH responsive, make sure the fabric is dry before interacting with materials of opposite pH
    • paper: different types of paper result in different colors; dyes can be painted on, just like water colors; water color paper absorbs the dye quickly compared to regular copier paper; dyes from sources that are pH responsive will change based on the paper, especially noted on acid-free paper
    • wood: use small wood samples or Popsicle sticks; the dye can be applied with paintbrushes