Natural Staining: Experimenting with Natural Dyes

Using natural dyes has always intrigued me. Back in the days before kids I used to make and sell my own soap, and I used natural dyes only for them. Dyeing fabric is something I have read up on but have never tried. But then I decided to offer little gifts when I package up my dolls, and these little wooden mushrooms were just begging to have colour!

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So here it is, the two little experiments I did!

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Beet juice worked amazing! It was very vibrant, although I still put on about 4 layers of juice, letting each layer dry about 10 minuted between applications. Then I wiped off all the particles and let them dry overnight. And then I drank the juice and felt super AWAKE after so I can continue my experiments, I love beet juice for that! I have read that with time the colour will fade and turn a slight brownish red, so we will have to see if this is true…

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Spinach juice, well…not so much. First of all a cup of spinach in my Hurom juicer, a decent quality juicer that ranks pretty high up there as far as affordable juicers go, only produced about 1/8 tsp of spinach juice. bah. And then 4 or 5 layers of application later, hardly any colouring at all.

For the record I also tried turmeric for yellow, and that was a dismal failure. The colour didn’t soak in, and so it didn’t stay. There was pretty much NO change in colour after 10 or 20 minutes of waiting after I applied the paste. Perhaps oil and turmeric would be a better paste, to encourage the powdered spice to leach its colour… that is another experiment that needs to be done. I used to use annatto seeds soaked in oil to dye my soap orange-yellow, and it worked very well, perhaps that would be better than using the grainy turmeric for wood as well?

Next on the attempt list, later on when I need more mushrooms, will be blueberries for blue and blackberries for purple, something we have plenty of on the west coast! For the record I used a natural sealant made from jojoba oil and beeswax, with lavender oil for scent. It helped bring out the colour, make the wood shine and become smoother, and seal the wood slightly for protection. Just in case little kids decide to try these little mushrooms, I attempted to make everything as natural as possible. Thanks for reading up on my natural dye for wood experimenting, happy colouring!

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