The Process of Dyeing

Hello, I will be discussing the process of when we dyed our clothing. First, you want to do research and find out what native flowers in your area will create a dye when boiled. Living in New Mexico there is a large supply of Chamisa, which creates a bright yellow dye when contracted correctly. During our experiment we used Chamisa for the dye that we created. We went out and harvested a lot of Chamisa flowers. What you want to do is the cut the flower off and compost the stems. It’s very important to get enough flowers for each person’s clothing. We also tried to make a die from sunflower seeds and various purple flower but it didn’t turn out as well as we had planned for.  We soaked our various white clothing items in water the night before and then soaked them in water with alum, which causes the dye to stay in the fabric for a longer period of time. It’s important that the clothing is wool  because the dye seems to make a better bond compared to using cotton. There are pros are cons to both such as if you dye your wool it will eventually begin to smell. Wool has a much longer process of being washed compared to cotton. The con to cotton is that eventually the dye will come off the clothing is the washing machine due to it’s weak dye bond. Then the next day we made the dye by putting the chopped Chamisa into the pot with boiling water and 17 tbl. spoons of cream of tartar and we were stirring. We then let that boil for an hour and then added out shirts after rubber banding them however we like. In order to get that tie dye look to the clothing. I dipped my shirt in the Chamisa dye and surprisingly enough it turned bright yellow! Did I mention that the smell of the boiling flowers reeked. The strange thing was that the girls in the class didn’t have a problem with the smell at all but the fellow boys were gagging and covering our noses. A few weeks ago we went on a plant scavenger hunt and one of the plants on the list to find in the area was Chamisa. When I saw it on our scavenger hunt I never thought that it had such amazing dying abilities and such bright colors. One thing that really surprised me was that the dye was brighter than the actual flower.


One thought on “The Process of Dyeing

  1. JOrdan – try to break up the text into more paragraphs, using images to break up the text. You dont need to say hello – and make your first sentence more interesting. Good detail on the process.

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