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How to Make Vegetable Dye

Saptakee Sengupta
A vegetable dye is a wonderful replacement for a chemical dye and it is mostly used for coloring fabrics. The combination of natural ingredients is also used for highlighting hair and covering gray strands. Read on...
Dyes are used for coloring fabrics and hair. Chemical dyes have a strong effect on the substrate on which it is applied and the ingredients might have harmful effects on the human body. Making organic dyes is an age-old technique, that was introduced first by the Asians.
The same technique is followed till date, wherein dyes are prepared from vegetables, fruits and plant parts. Herbs that produce color are also used for making vegetable dyes.
Being natural, the dyes have rich texture and are also environment friendly. After knowing the benefits, you must be wondering how to make vegetable dye at home. Here we provide you some wonderful ways for preparing an organic dye.

Make Your Own Vegetable Dye

You will be surprised to know that vegetable dyes are also used for culinary purposes. How? The juice extracted from beets and carrots have a wonderful color and it is often added to varieties of recipes to make them look tempting. Unlike chemical dyes, vegetable dyes are non toxic and absolutely safe on hair too.
● A strong dye can be prepared by juicing out red cabbage, carrot and beet root. Shred half a cabbage and grate one medium size carrot and beet. Boil water in a large bowl and dip the vegetables in it. Leave it for 20 minutes till the color of water changes to deep red.
Strain the water and store the vegetable dye in an air tight container. You can use this liquid for staining fabrics with the help of a paint brush or a cotton swab. Dry the fabric under partial shade so that it takes the color perfectly.
● If you want to dye your clothes in pink, then you have to collect peonies, beet roots, ripe berries, cherries and strawberries. The combination of these organic products will provide a rich pink texture to the fabric.
Chop the fruits, flowers and vegetables finely and add them in a pot containing apple cider vinegar. You have to boil it for at least 20 minutes to get an intense texture. Dip the fabric into the solution after it has cooled for complete coverage.
● We are familiar with the use of turmeric in cooking. Isn't? Now, let us see the benefits of turmeric in fabric dying. If you want to add bright yellow hue to your clothes, then the combination of carrot and turmeric is perfect.
Chop a carrot finely and add it to a cup of hot water. Mix two teaspoons of turmeric and stir with a spoon. Brush the fabric with this colored solution or splash it randomly for creating a contemporary design.
● We are all well-accustomed with the tie dye effect, which is a popular fashion clothing among Asians and hippies. Colors of blue merged haphazardly with magenta and purple would look brilliant on your angel sleeve tops. But how would you create such an effect? First, you need to collect a jar of blue berries, spinach, beet root and peels of eggplant.
Smash the blue berries and eggplant peels together and mix it with beet root and spinach paste. Take a soft bristled brush and then paint the fabric using this vegetable dye as the coloring material. Allow the fabric to dry and then scrub off the dried residues. Then see how amazingly the tie dye effect gets created.
● If you are regularly using chemical dyes for covering the gray frizzes, then you must think of an alternative. And what better option than a vegetable hair dye? You can create tones of burgundy, dark brown and bright orange with the help of rosemary, sage, chamomile and henna.
Your gray hair can be covered by a shimmering golden shade with saffron and walnut husk. Soak finely ground henna leaves overnight in warm water. Apply the paste on your hair with a brush and leave for 2 hours.
Rinse thoroughly and feel your hair shining with a rich burgundy tone. Simmer rosemary, walnut husks, chamomile and sage in water for at least one hour. Apply the soggy mixture on your hair and allow it to dry. Rinse your hair first with apple cider vinegar and then with cold water. This will add a beautiful shine to your hair.
Now surely you might be eager to try them on your fabric or apply the natural concoction on your hair. Vegetable dyes are great substitutes for chemical dyes and with so many options at hand you can create a great color combination.