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  • Writer's pictureViolet Shirran

It's spring, Lets dye a scarf with daffodils!

Updated: Mar 15, 2019

Its spring, we have lots of daffodils about.. You've bought some while you did your shopping or your lucky enough to have some in your garden. .. but they're wilting now and it's time to throw them out....WAIT.. let me show you how to dye a silk scarf with your Daffodils!!

Wait , What?? Is that possible Violet?? Well yes it is dear reader!!

Recycled silk sari ribbon dyed with daffodils .
Silk ribbon dyed with Daffodil flowers.

Dyeing with flowers from your garden or a bunch you got a present of is very satisfying and much easier than you probably think! ( Although probably slightly longer than you think!)

Firstly DO NOT pick fresh daffodils especially to dye with , why? Well it's hard enough being a Bee at the moment without us humans stealing their food wait till they're wilted .

I used 3 bunches of daffodils.( you could easily dye with two)

"Off with their heads" Snip the dried flowers off the stems

So where to start...

Step one, as The Queen of Hearts said... "Off with their heads". Chop the dried , wilted Daffodil flowers off the stems.

Step two. Pop them in a pot of water and leave them to soak overnight.. no heat.. just soak them.( I use rain water for this, tap water is full of chemicals and changes the colour) You'll need about 2 litres of water.

The next day the water should already have a yellow tinge!.

Pop flowers into 2 litres of water ( rain water if you can)

Step three.. SIMMER the flowers on a VERY LOW heat for about 20 minutes. DO NOT BOIL THEM!!

Flowers are very delicate and if you boil them you will get a muddy brown colour... not nice..

Again leave this yellow sludgy porridge ( Yum Yum) to sit for a few hours.. If there is any word that sums up natural dyeing , it's Patience !

Ok, Ready for step Four?

If you chuck your silk scarf into this Daffodil porridge now, firstly it will give you a patchy result and secondly you'll be fishing your scarf out of yellow porridge tomorrow!!! Gross.

(Put your scarf into clean water to soak now)

So find a piece of muslin, a sieve of any kind OR any loose weave fabric. You want to separate the sludge from the yellow liquid. Put the muslin or sieve over a bowl , gently pour in your Daffodil porridge and when they are separated you will have a nice yellow liquid or dye.

Congratulations!! You're almost there!!

You have a choice now.. put it in Tupperwear and freeze it to use later or ( my personal favourite) barrel ahead now!

Ok. now VERY gently heat your daffodil dye. Boiling is the enemy of plant dyeing, especially fresh plants.

Take your silk scarf thats been soaking in water, wring out extra water , shake it out and gently pop it into the heated dye.

Make sure the fabric is covered with dye and give it a stir every few minutes to make sure it's evenly dyed.

You can turn off the heat now and leave your scarf in over night... again patience pays off.

Next day, take it out, wring it, shake it out and dry it naturally outside, not on a radiator.

Don't rinse it before you hang it out, leave the dye in until it dries.

Now you have a yellow, silk, Daffodil scarf dyed with flowers you would have thrown out.

Gently rinse with ph neutral soap or just in warm water. washing powders have bleach in them and will change the colour.

Whoop, Whoop You're now a natural dyer, a recycler and an Eco warrior ( With a fashionable yellow scarf!) Well Done.. Maybe we'll dye with avocado next time? What do you think?

Spool of recycled silk ribbon dyed with Daffodils

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