How to Tie Dye with Natural Fabric Dye for DIY Art Therapy Healing

tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
I have decided to use artistic creativity as an additional form of self healing. A friend invited me over to tie dye based on an IttyBittyImpact blog post. Although this post simply details our slightly variant process with fresh and organic turmeric root (not turmeric powder) as a natural fabric dye, it was a spiritual experience. Read how, among other art forms, this apparently simplistic tie dying project was a form of DIY art therapy that is not only fun, easy and cheap but ideal for treating anxiety and other mental health concerns naturally.
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Materials We Used for Making Natural Fabric Dye for DIY Art Therapy (Tie Dye)
  • Absorbent fabric: an old cotton vest that had aged too badly to be worn and a thick fabric whose components are unknown to us. A white 100% cotton T-shirt will suffice.
  • A large pot, stainless steel. The suggestion was an aluminum pot since aluminium is believed to help create a chemical reaction that helps the dying process. I have not researched this personally and welcome comments.
  • Aluminum rod or spoon. My host did not have an aluminium pot but miraculously found a spoon.
  • A large heat resistant bowl. We used a stainless steel bowl
  • Natural source of dye. We used fresh yellow turmeric root. This is where we differed from the original recipe that used turmeric powder
  • Vinegar  as our fixative

tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
Back view of vest: It was tie dyed with natural fabric dye using fresh turmeric root. It is still slightly damp in this photograph
How We Made Natural Fabric Dye for DIY Art Therapy (Tie Dye)
1. We grated the turmeric into the stainless steel bowl and set it aside with water at room temperature
2. Although the instructions suggested washing and drying the fabric, we skipped this step since this process apparently removes starch from new fabric and our fabric was used.

3. Just as suggested, we simmered the still un-tied fabric in the pot for roughly one hour in a combination of 4 parts water to 1 part vinegar. (The instructions suggest that vinegar was used to fix 'plant dyes' while 1/2 cup salt should be used to every 8 cups of water if the fixative is a 'berry').
4. We placed the stainless steel bowl that held the turmeric over the pot as a cover. This allowed the steam from the water and vinegar mix to heat the turmeric and water above. Among other things, the  sensorial intensity of the turmeric that filled my friend's small countryside kitchen created a spiritual experience. Read about the experience from a healing perspective.
tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
5. After thoroughly rinsing the fabric with cold water, we strained the turmeric
tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
6. We tied the fabric with string. See how to make over 20 tie dye patterns.Then we brought plain water to a boil. We then slowly added the strained turmeric juice into the pot to simmer for 10 minutes. At one point, we dipped a corner of the fabric in to see how dark it might turn. It gave a faint tan color. So we actually grated and strained more turmeric with a total amount of 4 cups. Arguably, we added too much turmeric. After all, we had originally wanted a bright sunshine yellow but ended up with a darker, more mustard orange brown color. Ultimately, we added the turmeric until the water was completely opaque -- --
7. We dropped the fabric into the pot for about 15 minutes. During this stage, we stirred with the aluminium spoon every so often to move the fabric around inside the pot and to help with the dying process.
8. After we turned off the heat, we allowed the fabric to cool in the turmeric dye for 20 minutes. The instructions water suggested that you could leave the fabric in the water for much longer, even overnight. We could not since it was already dark and my drive home alone would involve traversing lonely country roads.
9. We rinsed the fabric in cold tap water.
tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
10. We then cut away the string.
tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control

tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control
11. Since my vest still had a very strong smell of turmeric last night, I decided to rinse it a few more times in the morning. I needed to rinse a few times before the water was clear.

tie dye with natural fabric dye from fresh turmeric root naturopathic control

Please let me know about your personal DIY art therapy. Better yet, also leave a link to your webpage about DIY art therapy. It need not be through tie dye. I also welcome links back to my page with the relevant craft.



Other Topics Related to Making Natural Fabric Dye & DIY Art Therapy for treating anxiety, Naturopathic Control style



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1 comment:

  1. I can’t believe that you use turmeric to tie dye that cloth. The results is really amazing. I want to try this because I am fond of dyeing textile because it really helps me express my creativity. We all know that dyeing is a good way of transforming our old fabrics into something new. Additionally, it also benefits the environment because by simply redyeing our old clothes, we can save landfill space.

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