Ma Vie En Rose: Hand-Dyeing With Petals

Dyeing your belongings with flowers is the equivalent to making pretty stains – ones that you’ll want to keep! It’s all natural and a very therapeutic Sunday afternoon activity…

All you need for your petal-crushed design is:

– something white (natural fibres are best)
– pretty flowers
– vinegar
– boiling water
– bucket
– plastic bag
– something to smash up your flowers with

Add fabric to boiling water with a splash of vinegar (this is science!), which helps prep the fabric.

Leave for half an hour or so. Once it’s simmered off, lay fabric out on a hard surface. Use plastic or a very absorbent cloth underneath to avoid making a mess.

Sprinkle your flowers all over fabric – or apply wherever you want splashes of colour. Smash and rub them in with a hammer and your hands – my hammer went walk about so I used a tomahawk!

Once you’re feeling pretty good about your rainbow of stains, roll up your fabric and leave overnight in a plastic bag so your colours absorb deep into the fabric.

I avoided washing mine, as I wanted the stains to remain bright, I don’t mind the clean vinegar smell. If this bothers you, do a light hand-wash a few days after – just to make sure the colours soak in properly.

If you’re wanting to get full coverage, immerse your fabric in a bucket of boiling water with your leftover petals and leave to soak for at least 1-2 days. Throw in beetroot and bougainvillea petals for the very best results.


Lucy Houghton, Undone Girl

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