Learn how to create your natural dye

Do It Yourself

Looking for a fun activity to do with the kids?

Discover our DIY workshop with the amazing Sarah from @Hidinginthecity. She shows us how to use natural ingredients to create your own dyes for ink, painting or fabric dying.

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What you will need:

- Saucepan

- Ladle

- Salt

- Vegetables or plants of choice - in the tutorial we used beetroot (500g), but onion/shallots skin, nettle and kale are also amazing natural dyes. 

- Water (enought to cover the vegetables in the saucepan).



1. Select your veggies/plant


This will determine the dye colour you create. We chose Beetroot as it's the simplest and you achieve amazing spectrum of colours - from blush to wine red.

2. Cut your veggies/plant


Roughly chop your veggies/plant into 2 cm sections and put everyhting into a saucepan.

3. Bring to the boil


Add enought water to the saucepan to cover the veggies/plant. 

Add 2 pinches of salt.

Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

4. Check the colour

check the colour

After 10 mins of boiling, you will get the softest colour you will achieve. To check the colour in the saucepan, dip a piece of paper into the mixture.

5. Adjust the colour


If you want a darker shade, repeat the previous step at 10 minutes intervals. When you reach a colour you would like to use, ladle out a small quantity and put it aside for later. Repeat until you have boiled for about 40-60 mins, this is the point where your darkest shade will be reached. To intensify this shade, strain out the veggies/plant and boil the mixture down to concentrate it.

6. Use your natural ink to create whatever you want!


Calligraphy, painting or fabric dying, be creative and try things out.

PS: if you want to use this technique to create fabric dyes, scale all quantity up.

An age-old craft ...

Dyeing is an age-old craft that goes back to the first civilizations that appeared on the Earth at the end of the Neolithic period.
It was always the favoured use of organic pigments. From Antique times to the Middle Ages dyeing was a major craft. The pink printed cottons of Tabaristan offered by the Vizier Amir Mahmùd (11th Century) were considered royal gifts, alongside jewelry and precious stones.

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