Garment Dyes: Cabbage, Indigo, and Rit Dye…#workinprogress

natural dye from my kitchen
red cabbage used as dye..

I don’t really wear white.  Except White Tantric Yoga with the Kundalini yogis.  The really in the I don’t wear white really is a often times seen as off-putting sort of a dirty white unisex t-shirt purchased from the Rose Bowl Flea Market white. It has small holes and stains. Very cool and could easily be purchased from the Barney’s New York department store. So the less than half a dozen times in my life I decide that I would like to sleep in white sheets has proved to be both surprising and a mistake.  Liking the fabric texture not the mistake.  Always inevitable that I will get the white dirty.  And for some reason, I don’t sleep well in the white.  Could be the “sterile” feeling.  Don’t know why, I just don’t.  Black and navy are more to my liking.  And sexier.   So, after noticing some markings, stains, and such on the otherwise pristine bedding, I have two choices.  Discard or dye.  I decide to have a little fun with it.  The usual internet perusing leads me to a favorite home decor inspiration site,  ABC Carpet & Home. Artisanal garments similar to the styles in mind’s eye are there to be seen. How to DYI it the next search.  Wanting to incorporate natural ingredients, and being all to familiar with the Rit Dye from childhood (I went through a tie dye phase, maybe still in it), I want to try a couple of other options. Natural first and then the go to dye from a box version.  Maybe find an expert or two.  Search one leads me to and an article entitled Natural Dye Made With Plant-Powerful Goodies .  

Beets, turmeric, chicory, and red cabbage are a few featured.  I check the refrigerator.  I am in luck.  I start with cabbage.  Then I hear of these ladies in South Carolina that have a small production of up-cycled garments.  They uses local indigo, local from their backyards, to be exact.  Unable to getaway to an island, I send the closest person to the island that i know and willing to go for me.  My Father.

The Expert(s) video:

Some of the process…

the ladies on Daufuskie Island using local indigo..
(photo courtesy Willie Barnes)

My Cabbage Dyeing..

purple/blue cabbage..rough chop..
add cabbage to the water..

the water after the cabbage is removed..
remove cabbage after the boiling..
the pillowcase is the first..

The Rit Dye

This is closer to the color of the indigo.

the whites

work in progress..more words and photos coming soon..


Indigo Blue and Silver Dew artists of Daufuskie