Here’s a quick tutorial on the play silks I shared in my Instagram stories recently. I had so many messages asking for more info, tutorials, dye combos etc so I thought this was the best place to put all the info.
You’ll need to do some preplanning for some of the dyes, I collected avocado skins and pits for the blush pink dye for weeks. Here’s some dye ideas:
Blush pink: avocado skins, pits and onion skins
Yellow: tumeric, kale
Red: beets, strawberries, red onion skins
Green: green apple peels, spinach
Blue: red cabbage
Purple: black beans
Brown: paprika and onion skins
Be sure to use 100% silk (natural fiber) for the best outcome. You can either cut and hem some silk fabric or purchase silks pre-made like I did. Mine are the silk hemmed scarves from Dharma Trading company in the 35×35″ size.
Before beginning, prep your fabric by washing it with a mild detergent. You can line dry them if your dye isn’t ready or time it just right to place the wet silks right into the dye vat.
Prepping the dye
Place heaping amounts of your natural ingredients in each pot, fill with water just covering your plant materials and add about a cup of distilled vinegar to act as your mordant. Boil and then simmer on the stove for 3 hours – all day.
You can check on the color by ladling some water into a glass until the color reaches your desired depth.
Once you’ve got a nice rich color put a strainer over a large spouted bowl to separate the plant material from the liquid dye and then pour the dye into jars, bowls or whatever you’ll be using to dye your silks.
Put the silks in wet and let sit overnight. Rinse with cold water until the water runs clear and line dry them indoors away from direct sunlight.
Enjoy them! We use ours for story time, dress up, movement and are perfect to have in your home to foster open ended play.
4 thoughts on “DIY play silks using natural dyes.”
It’s really cool & interesting. I like the way you explain all details in very easy way.
Beautiful! Will the dyes run if the fabric happens to get wet? Can they be thrown in the washing machine?
The vinegar acts as the mordant to set the dye so yes you can wash them! I haven’t had a problem with the dyes running. ❤️❤️
Oh great! Thank you!