I put together a list of my must have items if you are going to be doing natural dyeing at home! It’s not a huge investment to get started.
I’ve been natural dyeing for about a year now and have made some purchases that I use every time and some I’ve only used once. There are some must have items and some suggested items.
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First, my must haves.
These are the things I use every single time I dye.
Excelsteel Set Of 3Pyrex 4-Cup Measuring Cup,Winco UT-12 Coiled SpringDigital Kitchen Scale/Food Scale
This steel pot set is my go to. I use it at least twice a day. Whether it’s just boiling water to put in a bucket or creating my iron baths, I use these pots 99% of the time. I have an aluminum set too, but I honestly have yet to use it because these are so much bigger and convenient.
The glass cup is one I just started using. I used to use a plastic one and it works perfectly fine until you want to deep clean it then it will warp.
The tongs are going to get really beat up so I suggest just finding the most inexpensive metal ones you can find. I really like the ones from IKEA but they don’t always open as wide as I’d like when I’m doing big projects like blankets.
You will need a digital food scale! Weighing your fabric and your ingredients will make or break your dye project. Trust me. I’ve skipped this step and regretted it a lot.
Nice to Have
Here are a few things that are nice to have but I don’t use EVERY time.
Winco Deep Fry/Candy ThermometerIMUSA USA R200-CALDERO22C TraditionalMedley Hills Farm AlumFerrous Sulfate Heptahydrate –
If you are going to dye things that aren’t cotton, the temperature will matter. I like using cotton so I rarely test the temperature of my water but if you want to do silk or wool, you’ll need to get the temperature often.
These aluminum pots are the ones I got. Things like nettle leaf only take the dye in aluminum pots! If you want to get richer colors than you are getting, trying an aluminum pot might help.
This is the alum I use. I buy it in bulk because you need 1/4 of the weight of your fabric for almost every project you will do. (I don’t always use alum but I also like more muted colors. If you like rich colors, you’ll want to do an alum bath before dyeing for sure!)
The last thing is this iron powder I use. I have tried other iron powder, this is my favorite. Again, I don’t always use it, but I use it enough I feel like I should mention it!
I’m putting together more dyeing methods and tips so stay tuned! If you have something specific you’d like to see please comment below and let me know. If you have a question I’m sure others do too!