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Textile update: veggie dip-dye curtain

01 February 2016

In Helena’s home, the more sustainable and creative an idea, the better! Her latest project? Colouring fabric with organic dye made from vegetable scraps to create an eye-catching curtain. ‘It’s fun discovering all the colours you can make,’ she says.

Kitchen with dip-dyed curtain

Dip-dye action: watch how to make your own fabric dye with vegetables.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN VEGETABLE DYE

1. Prepare your fabric by soaking in hot water for 12 hours with a mordant or fixative. This adheres the dye to the fabric, you can make a natural mordant with juniper needles or use a salt solution as a fixative.
2. Meanwhile, boil up your vegetable scraps in separate pots for a few hours to create your dyes: red-onion skins and beetroot give a brown colour; white onions a rich yellow; red cabbage, purple; and avocado seeds, pink. But you can experiment with anything from tea bags to smashed berries.
3. When you’ve got your colours, drain off the scraps and get dipping! You can let the colours run into each other to create new shades.
4. Dry your fabric flat, then it’s ready to use.

Portrait of Helena with her friend Anja

‘My friend Anja is an artist, she taught me how to make vegetable dye. I can’t wait to do it again. It’s a great idea to try with kids too.’

Helena (left), photographer, Sweden

Made by

Photography: Dan Duchars
Styling: Carl Braganza