Hi Creative Mamas! This post is dedicated to sharing with you the essential tools for natural dyeing. When I first started dyeing I was very confused about what was essential to have and what was not.
This is my list of items which I have found to be essential to have if you are embarking in natural dyeing. At the end of this post I am also including some extra items that you may want to consider but that are not essential.
A word of caution: Any materials used for natural dyeing can never be used for cooking ever again. It’s not safe! Even though we are dyeing naturally, some plants may be harmful if ingested and Alum has to be handled with care as well.
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Essential tool for natural dyeing
Stainless steel pots with lids
Stainless steel pots are a must have because the stainless steel will not affect the color in any way. I recommend that you start with at least 3 sizes. In my studio I have the following sizes and they have worked great for me:
- 11 quart (10.4L) stainless steel pot and lid
- 3 quart (2.8L) for small samples
- 5 quart (4.7L) for extracting the dye
Of course you can have mores sizes or more than 1 in a variety of sizes but I think these sizes are a great way to start.
You need a good kitchen scale that is reliable because measuring your fabric and dyes/mordants is the base of any natural dye recipe.
A basic metal mesh strainer will last you forever and you will use it every time you are extracting color. I like having a few sizes available such as these.
A funnel is a great tool to have to transfer left over dye to smaller jugs. It can be plastic or metal. I have these ones.
Plastic measuring Jug
A plastic measuring cup is a great addition to your tools. I use them to transfer dye from one pot to another when I am experimenting with mixing my colors.
Plastic measuring spoons
These measuring spoons are great to use when adding Alum and modifiers to your mordanting and dye pots.
A great set of wooden spoons will last you for years and are a must have tool to stir as well as to add and remove your fabric and yarn from the dye pots.
You need several because they will dye and you need to make sure not to use a purple dyed spoon in a yellow dye bath. It will affect the fabric color. Have at least 6!
Tongs are super useful to remove fabric and yarn from the pots. I like these metal ones.
You will need a couple of buckets to rest your fabrics and yarn in between processes.
Rubber gloves and face masks
Gloves are ideal to protect your creative hands from turning purple, yellow or pink 🙂 I like these because they are extra thick.
Essential materials for natural dyeing
More tools and equipment for natural dyeing
I love keeping a record of all my natural dyeing samples. A spiral notebook is a great item to have by your side when you are dyeing. you can quickly write down your process and make sure that you document every little step. This will allow you to replicate that same color in the future.
Another thing to consider are these PH strips. It will assist you in knowing what kind of water you are dyeing with, the acidity etc. This is not essential but you may want to use them.
I hope this post helps you gather all the basic tools and materials that you need to get started in natural dyeing. REach out with any questions that you may have 🙂