If you want to start doing some dyeing at home, natural dyeing with onion skins is a good first project. Onions are pretty easy to get hold of and as you can eat the onions and just use the waste, its low cost. You don’t need any special equipment or expensive chemicals. Onion skins also give really strong colours, even with a relatively small amount of plant material.
An onion skin dye can be your simplest entry point into the world of natural dyeing!
This is because you can create lovely rich dyes from onion skins with no mordant as the skin already produces it’s own tannins. These tannins will do the mordanting for you!
The onion skin dye itself is easily created and long lasting.
List of things you will need:
5. 100% cotton Fabric/T-Shirt/Scarf
1. Place the onion skins into the vessel and cover with water generously. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 30-45 minutes.
2. Once you have a lovely color in your dye pot, strain the skins off and discard them.
3. Soak the fabric/anything that you want to dye (has to be undyed/white and 100% cotton/silk/linen) and leave it is fully wetted.
4. Put the soaked fabric into the dye bath. and let it sit for at least 20 min to 2 hours. Partially heating the dye bath if keeping it for longer duration. Depending on the shade you want. The longer you let it sit the darker shade you get.
5. Take out the dyed fabric from the dye bath and rinse it in tap water until all extra dye washes out from the fabric.
6. Wash it with a mild detergent and dry it in shade. Putting it in sun will fade the color from fabric.
7. You're ready to use it.
I also made a Shibori scarf by soaking it in the dye bath for 30 mins.