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Plant-Dyed Playsilks

Plant-Dyed Playsilks

Plant-Dyed Playsilks

Plant-Dyed Playsilks

A Simple Craft in Natural Dye Color

 A rainbow of color can be found in your kitchen thanks to the magic of natural dye! This recipe will dye 8 mini Playsilks (or 4 regular size Playsilks). Dyeing Playsilks with plants is an easy and exciting project for all ages of children.  


For these colors we used cabbage, avocado pits, yellow onion skins and turmeric.  You can also experiment with using other plants or try Flower Dyed Playsilks too!  After our Playsilks are done our leftover dyes can be used as watercolors.

What You'll Need:

  • White Playsilks for dyeing

  • Several pots for cooking the dyes (aluminum pots are great for cooking natural dye as they have a natural "mordanting" benefit which helps set the dye) 

  • 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

  • 4 tablespoons of Vinegar


Chop up the cabbage and clean off your avocado pits.


    Add each item to its own pot and add just enough water to cover the contents.


    Bring each dye pot to a simmer - simmer for 30 minutes for all items. For the avocado, the longer it's cooked the richer the color. We simmered our avocado pits for 1 hour.

    After your dye is cooked, add your Playsilks and 1 tablespoon of vinegar to each pot. Simmer on very low for 1 hour - stirring occasionally. You may need to add more water to cover your Playsilk.


    Once cool, rinse and ring out your silk, hang to dry out of the sun.  Leave your silks to “cure”.


    Iron your Playsilks to restore their shine!


     Happy plant dye play!



    Sarah and Madlyn



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