Monday, April 16, 2012

From Stained To Spicy!

A few months ago, Maggie's husband accidentally knocked a cup of coffee into her dresser drawer. A black and white shirt got most of the damage, and after washing it unsuccessfully we were pretty sure that we only had a couple of options: try to remove the coffee stains with some Homemade Stain Remover or toss it in the trash. But then we came across a wonderful idea from Delighted Momma: using the spice turmeric to dye fabric! While that crafty Momma actually used this method to tie dye, we thought it might be the perfect solution to covering up those stains and giving new life to this old shirt! (The stains don't show up very well in the picture below, but trust us! They are there! On the front, back, and collar of the shirt! Ugh!)

What You Need:
  • 3-4 Tablespoons turmeric
  • water
  • large pot
  • fabric (in this case a stained shirt)

Fill a large pot with water and add teh turmeric. Let it simmer for about 30 minutes.

While the turmeric simmers, soak your fabric in cold water. This will help the fabric take the dye.

Next, submerge the fabric in the hot turmeric/water solution and let it sit for about an hour, stirring it every so often. Leave it in longer for a deeper color.

We left ours in for an hour and it was plenty vibrant!

Once you are happy with the color, rinse it in cold water until the water runs clear. We then decided to throw it in the wash to see how the color held up. After washing it with a dark load in cold water and drying it the color was AMAZING! It hadn't faded and was a brilliant yellow! LOVE IT!! And the stains don't show a bit!

Three cheers for natural fabric dye!

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  1. Makes me wish I didn't look so horrible in yellow! The shirt looks awesome on you!

  2. Good idea =) I wonder if that would work with other spices, like chili powder, cayenne pepper, or powdered basil (to get different colors). I wonder if a shirt could be dyed pink with beets...

  3. I would love to try this, but I'm so afraid of the shirt bleeding in the wash onto other things. Please let us know how this holds up in the wash in the future.

  4. @ Ellen: The photo of the finished shirt is what it looks like after being washed (see the end of the post). We threw it in with a dark load in cold water, as well as ran it through the dryer. No bleeding, no fading! We were amazed! :)

  5. I think it's much cuter in yellow. That's a great idea.

  6. Great idea! I just wish I could get the turmeric stains out of my daughter's light blue skirt. Maybe I'll dye the whole thing green.

  7. that made a gorgeous color! nice work! :) lisa

  8. Before you put the shirt in the dye do you leave the stove on or turn it off

  9. That is exactly how yarn/cloth was dyed before man made dyes came along.... And yes beets would dye cloth as well

  10. hi wow so cool,can you tell me what effect spice would have to a fabric that is light red. is there any that would make it a darker red potentially? Many thanks