Colors have an effect on your personality and mood. If you have predominantly white shirts and want to color some of them, you can opt to use natural dye. Although natural dyes are tricky to prepare, their advantages are greater than using chemical dyes. For one thing, they are natural, safeguarding the environment. If they fade in time, their color lightens to the same hue as the original color. If the color brown is your fancy, make your own natural dye from walnuts. Walnuts are usually abundant in the early fall season. Here is how you can make your natural brown dye using walnuts:
- Gather your walnut husks from your garden or wherever you can find them. The walnuts should be mature. It is best to pick the nuts from the ground when they had fallen out of the tree. Remember not to pick nuts from the tree excessively. You should only take what you need. September is the perfect month for walnut picking. This is the season when nuts are ripe enough to fall to the ground. The walnuts should still be attached to their husks even if the husks are already turning brown.
- Take a large heating pot and boil two gallons of water. Be sure to let the water come to a boil before proceeding with the next step.
- Drop 20 or more black walnuts into the boiling water. Be sure that the walnuts still have the husks attached to them. Boil for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
- Secure the large pot in an area where nobody can tamper with it. Let the black walnuts immerse in the water overnight. Cover the pot with a secured cover to avoid pets or children from tampering with it. The water can stain your hands so handle the pot with extreme care and use rubber gloves.
- To use the dye, place the fabric into a dye bath. Do not forget to wear gloves during this process. Heat the pot again and let the fabric simmer in it until you get your desired shade of color. Always remember that the color will be lighter when the fabric is dry.
- The kind of fabric will affect the color of the natural dye. The best fabrics for this kind of dye are muslin, silk wool and cotton. Remember that dyeing a darker color of fabric may not work well with the natural dye. It is best to use lighter shades of fabric like white, light gray or pastel colors.
The next time you need dye for a project or for dyeing shirts, go organic. This way you use natural ingredients and safeguard the environment. Natural dyes stay longer on fabric unlike the chemical dyes. The color stays even after frequent washing. Not only that. They are cheaper than the chemical dyes in the market, and they give you better color quality.