Dyeing with onion skins

I have become really interested in eco dyeing to for the base for my block prints. As you know I’ve tried dyeing with tea and now I’ve tried dyeing with onion skins. I am quite amazed at how much colour those papery skins produce.

I found this very large aluminium pan in a little antique shop that’s just opened (and it is rather large) to use for dyeing, so that there is enough room for the fabric to move around a bit.Onion skins 1 I can’t tell you how many onion skins I used, maybe 1/2 a bucket full.Onion skins 2 Now you can see, after boiling them, how much colour they contain.Onion skins 3 I put the wet fabric into the dye, simmered for a while and then let it stand with the lid on until I thought it was the colour I wanted. To be quite honest I was excited what ever colour it was!Onion skins 4Here is my first product made with the dyed fabric. It does make a fantastic ground for the print. Onion skins 5To see the colour at its best, do come to my studio on my launch day 25th Oct. when I’ll have all the new textile range out on show.



2 thoughts on “Dyeing with onion skins

  1. Many years ago when I was in college, I worked in the Costume Lab, and we used onion skins to dye muslin for one of the plays, I can’t remember the name of it, but there were dryads in it, and we needed some natural looking fabrics. All of us workers were asked to save the onion skins to use for the dye pot. We had that thing simmering for a week, and the longer we had it simmer, the darker the color of the fabric. Isn’t it fun to experiment.

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