DIY Mini Playsilk Dyeing
Playsilks can be dyed easily and naturally using a variety of foods right from your kitchen. Below is a list of foods that make great dyes.
- Onion skins (yellow or red) - I've only used the yellow onion skins and they make a pastel orange color
- Pomegranate skins - Pastel yellow
- Avocado pits - Rose. You can also use the avocado skins, I just find the pits easier to clean and keep.
- Hibiscus Tea - Pink
- Black Tea - Brown
- California Lilac - Lavender
Notice I didn't list any berries or cabbage? that's because both of these create stains not dyes. Yes, you can create great colors with them, but they don't have the same staying power as dyes, so they will fade more quickly wash after wash.
Here is a picture of my most recent dying adventure with California Lilac. It made the most beautiful light lavender color.
Rebecca Desnos has a great account (and books) for more natural inspiration. She doesn't dye silk, but the dye mediums still apply.
Don't be surprised if you become obsessed with natural dying. I've dyed onsies, burpies, t-shirts, old dresses, and kitchen napkins. It's so much fun, I am 100% sure the fabric dyeing will continue.
If you're not able to collect enough items from your kitchen to get the variety of colors there is another way to easily create natural dye baths for your mini playsilks. You can use the same dye baths that you use for egg dying with your playsilks! We carry the eco-kids natural egg dying kit, and the kit includes three powdered-based coloring packets. Once you've finished dying your Easter eggs you can throw in your playsilks.
Stop! Before you toss them into your dye bath, you'll have to "prep" you silks. To prep your playsilks for dyeing they should be washed in hot water or boiled for 30-60 minutes. Once the silks have been prepped you can toss them in the dye bath. You can use any container for your bath, but I would recommend a glass container or one that is transparent, so you watch your silks change color and remove them once they have reached your desired hue. Keep in mind that the color will be less vibrant once the silk dries.
Did you give any of these a try? Share your results with us on Instagram.