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Natural Silk & Egg Dyeing

With Madlyn Jane
March 9th, 2021

A RAINBOW OF color can be found in your kitchen thanks to the magic of natural dye!  With spring upon us at Sarah’s Silks we got our eggs and silks out and ready for dyeing.  This recipe will dye 12-24 eggs and 8 mini Playsilks (or 4 regular size Playsilks).

We will start by making the dye for the silk and use the same dye bath for the eggs.  For the silks we used cabbage, avocado pits, yellow onion skins and turmeric.  We also added in a few more dyes for the eggs using grape juice and beets!  Even after our silks and eggs are done our dyes can then be used as watercolors.


What You'll Need:

  • 12-24 Brown and white eggs

  • White silk for dyeing (best if soaked in water overnight)

  • Glass jars

  • Several pots for cooking the dyes

  • Half a head of purple cabbage

  • 4 avocado pits (clean the brown skin off your pits before dyeing)

  • 2 Large handfuls of yellow onion skins (collecting discard skins from the grocery store is helpful!)

  • 3-4 Tablespoons of turmeric

  • 3-4 Beets

  • Concord grape juice

  • Vinegar


For the silks:

Wash your silk in a tub of soapy water, rinse and soak your silk in water overnight - or for a few hours.

Chop up the cabbage.

Add each item to its own pot and add water to cover the contents and for dyeing the silk.



    Bring each dye pot to a simmer - simmer for 20 mins for all items. For the avocado, the longer it's cooked the better the color.  For the color here we simmered our avocado pits for 2 hours.

    Strain your dyes and add them back to their pots (it’s ok if the turmeric doesn’t strain out all the way).

    Add your silk and simmer on very low for another 20 mins - stirring occasionally
    Let your silk sit in the dye pots overnight.

    Ring out your silk and hang to dry out of the sun (the turmeric silk may need a little rinse to clean off the spice).  Leave your silks to “cure” as we start on the eggs.


    For the eggs:

    Chop the beets, cover with water, and simmer for 20 mins to extract the dye, strain and add the liquid back to the pot.

    Put grape juice in a pot for dyeing.

    Your silks and eggs will share the same dye bath.

    Place eggs in dye pots making sure the dye covers the eggs (add a bit of water if needed). When the dye starts to simmer cook your eggs for 10 mins.

    Prepare glass jars - ideally one jar for each egg to get the maximum dye coverage, but you may place 2-3 eggs in each jar.



    Place eggs in jars with warm dye.

    Add 1 tablespoon of vinegar per egg to each jar.

    Put the jars in the fridge and let the eggs soak overnight (the grape juice eggs do best if only soaked for 2 hours).

    In the morning, carefully spoon out the eggs and place them on a paper towel to dry.



    Using the dye for watercolors after you're done with silks and eggs is another fun way to continue the magic of natural color!

    Silk and egg color guide  

     


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