How to tie dye fabric napkins with blueberries (DIY natural dye)

Have you ever tried natural dyes? Some of the natural dyes I’ve used in the past are coffee and tea. They give linen and cotton a wonderful vintage look.

This time I’ve tried blueberries. They always stain my fingers and they stained one of my handmade napkins recently, so I thought I’d give it a try.

I first boiled a cup of blueberries in water for around 30 minutes. I strained the berries and left the not dark red looking water, to which I added vinegar and salt to help set the colour on my cotton napkins.

Before submerging them in the dye, I’ve knotted and folded and wrapped my napkins. I wanted to see the shapes the dye would create.

I simmered the napkins in the dye water and then let them dry almost completely. The result is the pretty lavender blue on the napkins in this post.

fabric napkins 3

But does it last?

I didn’t want to use any other chemical than the colour fixative I already had at home (salt and vinegar) but you should be able to make your dyed fabric last longer if you use a mordant.

The napkins kept their beautiful lavender colour until their third wash, after which the fabric turned a light blue. I enjoyed them as they were, but for some people they might just look like stained napkins, which is probably why my partner had decided to use the precious blueberry dyed napkins as cleaning rags when I was away. 😮

So, in short, the result is beautiful, but the dye quickly fades.

fabric napkins shibori

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