Summer Natural Dyeing

One of the plus sides of spending the summer entirely at home was a bit more time spent experimenting with natural dyes! My husband bought me an indigo kit from Botanical colors back at Christmas that I finally got some time to try my hand at. I also did a bit more avocado dyeing and with my garden in full bloom I did two batches of flower bundling.

All the Details:


Indigo Gift Set ( no longer available) contained all the necessary ingredients to make up an indigo vat plus Saxon Blue Extract and Indigo Ink. Botanical Colors

Avocodo pits (dried and stored)

Flowers from my garden ( marigolds, hibiscus, purple flowers from my vine, zinnia’s, etc.)

Tanin and Aluminum acetate pre-mordant on gray fabric

1-2-3 Indigo Vat Recipe Adapted from Michel Garcia


Made In: India
Weight: 2 oz./sq. yd.
Width: 60 inches
Content: 100% Organic Cotton 
  • Handwoven Plain Weave Natural 3 yds (No longer available) (The thicker weave shown in the top image clamped + dyed with indigo)

Check out their undyed section for other great fabrics to dye.

  • The third fabric (avocado dyed) is also from Organic Cotton Plus but I can’t remember for the life of me what it is. I believe it’s a lightweight muslin but it’s been in my stash a little longer.

Indigo Dyeing with Clamp Resist and Dip Dye:

My indigo mother was easy to start and looked great. This was a super fun dyeing experiment and my first time making the indigo starter from scratch. I over-dyed a few of the kids tees, an old stained tablecloth( stitched circle resists), as well as my Granville blouse from Sewaholic, my lantern sleeve blouse and a drapey rib knit I bought from Blackbird that while very pretty wasn’t a good color for me. My main focus was the handwoven plain weave that I folded and clamped for a resist pattern.

I don’t think I let my fabric settle long enough though since the color faded quite a bit on the clamp resist. Everything else faded a shade. At first I was disappointed because I loved the bold pattern I originally had but now that it’s been made up into a garment I’m really happy with the very light color pattern. I’ll share the finished make next week. If it had stayed as bold as it is in the images below it probably wouldn’t have been very successful. The faded natural look is much more wearable.

Avocado Dyeing with Stitch Resist:

This was my second batch of avocado dyeing this year. My first dress had some issues so I dyed another length of fabric that was made into a slip and a blouse of my own design. I did a long stitch on my machine that I then gathered before dyeing in a random pattern the full length of the yardage. It’s very subtle unless you’re up close but I just love wearing this color. Such a perfect rose blush.

Bundle Dyeing with Garden Flowers:

This was my favorite project of the year. I did the first bundle with a simple vinegar spray and it came out very pretty. The color was bit too yellow, so not really me. I over-dyed the fabric and re-bundled. I first soaked it in tannin and then aluminum acetate for a mordant which gave it a paler grey color and then used another flower bundle and let it sit for 3 days. The results are so lovely up close. Very variegated with purples and golds and leaf prints. The fabric is a semi-sheer voile so it’s a bit hard to view in the pictures. I can’t wait to sew this one up!

Can’t wait to sew up the rest of this dyed yardage and to share the pieces I’ve already made with the avocado and indigo. I’ll be showing off the vintage 70’s pants I made with the clamped indigo resist fabric next week.

avocado dyed cotton and first flower bundle results
flower bundle #2
flower bundle #2

I’ve got so many new pieces to share but it’s been crazy around here with the start of school for the kiddos (online) last week and a busy work schedule. I’ve hardly had a minute to myself and haven’t sewn in almost two weeks. But I just got in a brand new sewing machine today (Janome Sewist 721) since my old one was on the fritz that I can’t wait to give a try!

Happy Sewing!

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