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Red Light, Green Light, GO!


Are you sick of your old blue jeans? If so, maybe it’s time to brighten them up; How does any or all shades of red sound to you?

Let’s experiment (all natural ingredients that can be found in your backyard possibly or perhaps in your kitchen pantry)-

Red leaves will give a reddish brown color

Sumac (fruit) (light red)

Dandelion (root)

Beets (deep red)

– Crab Apple – (bark) – red/yellow

Rose (hips)



Hibiscus Flowers (dried)


– Canadian Hemlock – (bark) reddish brown

– Japanese Yew – (heartwood) – brown dye

Wild ripe Blackberries

– Brazilwood

– St. John’s Wort – (whole plant) soaked in alcohol – red

Getting the Fabric ready for the Dye Bath
You will have to soak the fabric in a color fixative before the dye process. This will make the color set in the fabric.

Color Fixatives
Salt Fixative (for berry dyes) 1/2 cup salt to 8 cups cold water
Plant Fixatives (for plant dyes) 4 parts cold water to 1 part vinegar
Add fabric to the fixative and simmer for an hour. Rinse the material and squeeze out excess. Rinse in cool water until water runs clear.

To Make the Dye Solution
Chop plant material into small pieces and place in a pot. Double the amount of water to plant material. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about an hour. Strain, Now you can add your fabric to be dyed. For a stronger shade, allow material to soak in the dye overnight.

Dye Bath
Place wet fabric in dye bath. Simmer together until desired color is obtained. The color of the fabric will be lighter when its dry. Also note that all dyed fabric should be laundered in cold water and separately.

Then again if you are not the creative type ( because things are always easier said than done) or just don’t like getting DIRTTYYYY, it might be a better idea to have Denim Therapy take care of the messy work… Check out their latest and greatest new service!

Voila, a new love affair has begun.

— Jackie Racer

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Posted Oct 20 2010 in Denim DIY » Denim Therapy

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