Sunday, October 3, 2010

Dyeing Naturally - Pomegranate

 Update - May 4, 2014 - The Pomegranate fabric
that I did here in this post (4 yrs. ago) is shown
here in my latest post. Pomegranate Fabric Here

In my previous post I had some photos
of natural things that I would try and
dye fabric with.

Now all of this came about when I
was blog hopping and clicking on
some blog links. And I found
Sonia's blog Naturally Dyeing
I just loved the results
she was getting from plants (she
lives in France) and so
I wanted to try it before winter
sets in.

I have never tried this before so I
will sound a bit naive.

I do have to warn you - if you have
bad allergies maybe you shouldn't
try this method.

Sonia mordants her fabrics in Alum
before she dyes them. I didn't have
any and while talking to the druggist
(getting my prescription) I asked
him about Alum. (He thought I wanted
to cook with it) and he told me to be careful
about ingesting too much..... but I told him
that I was using it for dyeing fabric.

I'll start with the Pomegranate and
the results that I had.

Oh, and I also used Bleached muslin -
washed in very Hot water - it's all
I had.....put it in the alum and water in
a stainless steel pot. (now saved just
for this purpose and NOT cooking)

(click on photos for a larger view)

A little messy but fun!
When my brother and I were children we
couldn't wait for the "Chinese apples" to
come to our little fruit/vegetable store.
They were expensive; so my mom would
give us half each. We had so much fun eating
them and playing with them. We would suck the
juice out of the seeds and then spit them out
at each other. (what can I tell ya) But what I
remember is that if it got on your shirt; it would
stain. And so.....

I laid out a piece of Freezer paper - the
shiny side up. Took out all of the seeds
and onto the wet fabric (with alum). I
folded the fabric over and then used my
potato masher to press the juice out.
Let it soak up awhile and then for some
weird reason I put it in the microwave
(don't know why but just did???) on
15 seconds 3 times. Then I put it
over a towel rack in the bathroom cause
it was night time, with an old towel under

Before this I had cut the pomegranate
skins and put it in a pot with some water,
made it come to a boil and then simmer
for about one hour - Took out the skins
I then added the
alum treated fabric and left it in there
for about one hour. The color result
was green! I took that fabric and put
it on the towel rack next to the pink
and after about 1/2 hour went to check
on it and found some small blue on
the pink fabric?????

So now I'm thinking what if......
and took both pieces back to the kitchen
and laid the pink on top of the green
and rubbed it. Then I rolled them up
together and let that sit for about 1 hour;
came back and unrolled it and dried it
on the rack. (-:

This is the results:

The colors are not true because of my flash
(I think) but you get the picture. I was a little
disappointed because I thought it would
turn blue because of that spot!

This is the piece that was on top of the green:
Let's call this piece #1 -

First notice that there is NO green on it...?
This piece was lightly ironed and then I
put some water drops on it and see what
happened! So I decided that I was not
going to wash the pieces. I folded them
and put them away

- Now it's a little over a week.

And the colors did fade a little:
Let's call this piece #2

But I can see a hint of blue along the outside
line of the pink.

Okay, so while I'm writing this blog I'm getting
brave and decide to soak Piece #1 in water......
Go and make myself some coffee etc and
came back and found.................

THIS! The piece #1 has a blue green color.

I'll see what happens once it dries. Wow
I can't believe this.

Now I want to go and soak the other piece!

I have one other piece that I did from the
pomegranate seeds - this piece came out
lighter because it was a larger piece.
When I ironed it - look what happened

Let's call this piece #3
I'm guessing that the iron was set too hot
and that's not a burn.... the color just changed.

Sometime later.....

Now I'm back after soaking Piece #2

Ha, this too turned blue!

Now I'm soaking Piece #3

This color is not true it actually came out a little lighter.

I don't know what those spots are????? Maybe pieces
of Pomegranate that I didn't remove??

And that's my Pomegranate experiment for today.
I hope that you found it as interesting as I did!

I have had more - shall I say - odd results with
the Pomegranate but I'll save that for next time.

Also some results with Rust dyeing!

I would appreciate any feedback!



Noon Solar launches Americas first natural dye production house.
Is this great! CLICK HERE
to read the rest of the story.

Here's another one I just love:

Slow Color
The Slow Color movement! Lots of ideas here!


We have had hardly any rain here in Lancaster,
and then we had a terrible storm:

This is my backyard
The creek is in the back of those trees - this is the

This little guy was confused and didn't know where to go.

A couple of days later - these mushrooms grew!



  1. Warning: chemistry geek alert....Several different things could be going on with the color change. The dye could change because of 1) interaction with light--the dye molecule absorbs light and changes it's structure 2) interaction with oxygen--the dye gets oxidized to something else (this happen in indigo dying) 3) pH change. Depending on the acidity or basicity you expose it to, the dye could change. Try keeping a freshly dyed piece of fabric in complete darkness and compare it one keep in the light.

  2. Hi Ann, Thank You! As you can tell I know nothing about chemistry. I was also wondering if my water has
    anything to do with the dyes - our water has lots of minerals in it. ?? I was thinking that next time I'm going to try bottled water and see if there is a difference.

  3. hi :) well, first of all, thank you kindly for stopping by my dyeing blog & for mentionning it here in your blog !
    I am no big expert in dyeing, you know, I've been experimenting for almost a year now, and each dye is a new surprise, and I myself most of the time can't explain the reasons to some of my results. There are so many different factors when you dye, the quality of your water (as you said), the quality of your fibers, the heat you used, how dilutted the dye was, which mordant (and how you used it) you used etc etc etc. The best is to read more about natural dyeing, in more expert blogs or websites, and why not books.

  4. Yes Sonia, I think that I will be ordering some
    natural dye books.
    I love the color results that you're getting with your dyes.
    I think next spring; I will plant plants for dyeing


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