Tie Dye – with natural resources

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Tie dye with natural means

In our article “Tie dye” we explain how easy it is to tie yourself. You don’t feel like using chemicals and would rather use what Mother Nature already provides us with? Then simply dye your fabrics with the brew made from natural ingredients. Before you start, however, it is advisable to pre-treat the fabric before dyeing and to fix it after dyeing. But don’t worry, if you don’t want to take the fixer from the drugstore, you can make up a solution for yourself.

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Treat the fabric before batik

Depending on which natural means you want to dye with, you have to pretreat the fabric differently.

I. First, fill a bucket with enough water to completely cover your fabric. If you want to work with berry dye, add 70 grams of salt per liter of water. If you want to dye with vegetable colors, add one part vinegar to four parts water. For example, 100 milliliters of vinegar for 400 milliliters of water.

II. Then bring the mixture to a boil and then let it simmer on a low level. Now you can add the fabric and let it soak for 30 to 60 minutes.

III. Then you take the pot off the stove and let it cool down. Then you can take the fabric out of the pot, wring it out and wash it out with cold, clear water. As soon as the material feels dry, the exciting part begins and you can get started with the batik!

Berry dye = add 70 grams of salt per liter of water

Vegetable colors = add one part vinegar to four parts water

Make batik paint with natural ingredients

We differentiate between slow and fast batik. Slow batik takes significantly more time. In return, the result is a lot stronger and more colorful. Fast batik, on the other hand, is easier and doesn’t take that long. On the other hand, the colors sometimes appear washed out.

Slow tie dye

If you have a little time to spare and want to create the most intense colors possible yourself, slow batik is just right for you! The natural ingredients soak in the water for a long time so that the resulting brew can dye your fabric as effectively as possible. You will experience the complete batik process from front to back.

In addition: Especially in a fast-paced world like today, it can be nice to deal with something for a longer period of time and enjoy the overall process of a product. In the end, the result is all the more rewarding and you have a lot more fun with it.

Salmon pink color

Avocado peel

You can make a colorful salmon orange with the peel of avocados. Who would have thought that the dark shell could make for such a beautiful shade?

  1. Start by scraping out 4 avocados and cutting the peel into strips.
  2. Then you put the bowl together with 4 liters of water in a saucepan, let it boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. After half an hour, pour off the water using a sieve and collect the resulting brew in a bucket.
  4. Now the real batik begins. Put the fabric in the bucket filled with the stock and let it sit for at least 10 hours, or better still for 24 hours. Make sure to stir the fabric in the brew from time to time so that the color can work evenly everywhere.
  5. When you are satisfied with the color intensity, you can take the fabric out of the bucket and then fix it in place .

Brown colour

Walnut leaves

If you prefer muted colors, you can use walnut leaves to dye your fabrics. As a rule of thumb, you need about 500 grams of dried leaves or 500 grams of green walnut shell for 200 grams of clothing. The shade of brown can vary in the end between light brown and a saturated chocolate brown.

  1. To start with, use a mortar to crush the leaves or the shell. If you don’t have one at home, you can alternatively use a knife or simply tear off the leaves with your hands.
  2. Then you put the crushed mass in a saucepan and cover it with water. The rule here is that there are around 500 milliliters of water for every 100 grams of dry material. When you have filled the pot with enough water, let the mixture boil and then simmer for 2 hours. The brew should then be able to steep for 24 hours, because the golden rule also applies here:The longer you let it steep, the more intense your shade of brown will eventually become.
  3. The next day you can remove the plant parts from the pot with a ladle or pour the brew through a sieve.
  4. After all the preparations, the step of the actual dyeing finally comes. To do this, you put the fabric in the brew and heat the pot and its contents to 70 degrees Celsius and let the fabric steep for another 24 hours.
  5. After a day has passed, the fabric can be taken out of the pot, the remaining color rinsed out and the color either with a fixer or with a homemade solution.

Fast batik

Would you like to make batik paint yourself, but don’t have the time to spend a lot? Maybe your anticipation or your zest for action is just so great that you can’t wait any longer? No problem, because you can make your own batik color with things from home within 30 minutes! It would take at least as long anyway to buy the normal materials for batik in the drugstore or craft store.

Turmeric, for example, has emerged as an it-spice in recent years! Not only can you use it to season great food, but turmeric is also a superfood thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. But the root can do a lot more! While the stains caused by turmeric on worktops or on kitchen towels are often annoying, it is precisely these properties that help us with batik.

You can dye fabrics naturally with the following ingredients. The process always remains the same:

  • I . First you heat water in the pot until it simmered.
  • II . Then you add the respective ingredients and wait until the water has taken on the strongest possible color.
  • III . Then the substance comes into the brew and steeps for about an hour.
  • IV . When you are satisfied with the result, take the fabric out of the pot and set the color.

With this method, the colors can sometimes be a bit lighter and more pastel-colored, as the brew does not stay as long as with our slow batik method .

The wonderful thing, however, is that you can use the various ingredients to tie-dye in a natural way and not have to do without anything. On the contrary, the color spectrum still includes the entire rainbow:

Lemon yellow


Boil the chamomile in the water. The more chamomile you use, the stronger the color will get.

Dark yellow


If you want to dye your clothes a dark yellow shade with turmeric, you only need to simmer about 15 grams of turmeric with water for 15 minutes. Then you add your fabric and let the whole thing sit until the fabric has reached your desired color intensity. Finally just fix it, wash it out and you’re done!


Onion peel

Boil the peel of the onion in the water. The more onion peel you use, the stronger the color will get.


Red cabbage

Boil the red cabbage in the water. The more red cabbage you use, the stronger the color will get.

Light green


Boil the spinach in the water. The more spinach you use, the stronger the color will get.


Indigo plant

Boil the indigo plant in the water. The more indigo you use, the stronger the color will get.


Black tea

Boil the tea in the water. The more tea you use, the stronger the color will get.



Boil the coffee in the water. The more coffee you use, the stronger the color will get.

Fix the color after the batik

Batik with natural means is a little more time-consuming than buying the paint in the drugstore. That’s why it’s all the more important to fix the dyed fabric afterwards, because all the work should have been worth it. Fortunately, this last step won’t take much of your time and all you need to do is stir up a few ingredients that are found in every household anyway. As a result, you even gain in 3 ways:

  1. You save time because you don’t have to go to a store to find the traditional fixer
  2. You save money because you already have everything at home for the natural alternative and you don’t have to buy anything.
  3. It’s all completely chemical-free and you know what kind of substances touch your skin.

Put 500 milliliters of vinegar and 3 to 4 teaspoons of salt in a bucket and add enough cold water to cover your fabric. Put the fabric in the bucket, making sure that the solution covers it all over the place. After 30 to 60 minutes, you can take the fabric out of the bucket and wring out the water.

The last step in fixing your batik is the first wash! This moment is at least as exciting as taking a baby’s first step or buying your first car. Because the all-important question is: will the color survive the wash cycle and still be brightly colored? It is helpful to add 90 grams of salt and 250 milliliters of vinegar to the washing machine the first time and even the second time. You should also be extra careful when washing with the cold water setting. However, this applies to every wash so that the colors stay bright as long as possible. Before you add the salt and vinegar, however, make sure your washing machine is suitable for them. Otherwise, leave it out and just wash your batik artwork on the cold water setting.

Tips and tricks for keeping the color

As already mentioned, you should make sure that you only wash your tie-dyed fabrics with cold water. To make the color shine even longer, you can also use detergent, which should contribute to a longer luminosity.

If you like to keep it very natural not only with batik, but also in general, you can also add 90 grams of baking soda during the wash cycle. Because baking soda helps the fabrics keep their color for as long as possible. They can also help with unpleasant washing machine odors.

Another option is to add vinegar during the wash cycle. Depending on the size of the wash load, this can be around 60 to 120 milliliters. Vinegar has diverse talents and is almost a little superhero! In addition to the clear advantage that it can lengthen the luminosity of the fabric, it also ensures that the fabric becomes soft. This is because it dissolves minerals and soap residue. Who needs conventional fabric softeners that are unfortunately made from animal slaughterhouse waste and only break the washing machine in the long run? In addition, vinegar is anti-microbial and therefore much safer than the chemicals in conventional fabric softeners.

In the end, it turns out that both fast and slow, time-consuming batik is not that much more effort and has many advantages! A lot of used agents such as vinegar for the pretreatment of the fabric or the subsequent fixing can be found in most households anyway. In this respect, batik with natural ingredients is a great alternative to classic batik and extends the entire experience. It’s crazy what can be done with the simplest budget and a few gifts from Mother Nature.


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