I started dyeing cheesecloth last summer to make wraps to sell and I decided to use only food/plants to dye with. Commercial chemical dyes are expensive and the waste isn’t great for the environment. I’d also need separate bowls, spoons, pots etc. for dying in and I have no where to store extra equipment.
Recently I used turmeric and blackberry juice (see my last post about the blackberry) to dye 6 more pieces of cheesecloth, 4 in turmeric and 2 in blackberry.
The turmeric ones, although I used different methods of dying – how long to leave the cloth in for and how long to simmer them too, turned out exactly the same shades. They came out unevenly dyed but I like that, they are unique. The blackberry ones I did separately as I didn’t want to use so many blackberries to be able to cover 2 at a time.
Once I have finished the last few pieces of undyed cheesecloth (if I do) I won’t be dying more. I have enjoyed doing it and seeing what happens – the colours I have achieved and how. The amount of water needed to rinse them out though, is astronomical! The 4 turmeric ones took almost 80L of water to rinse out, and 1 blackberry at least 15L. I want to save water and not use it willy-nilly so I am going to have to decide what to dye the last few Metres of fabric I have – or sell it as is.
With the weather being so hot in the last 2 months and basically being in drought conditions, I am far more aware of the water we use both for household use and in our garden and allotment. We have no water left on our allotment, and have been taking 25L at a time down in a large plastic jerry can on a little trolley and have just about been able to keep the few plants we have left on the allotment going. Using a lot more than that to dye a few metres of cheesecloth just doesn’t make sense.
I think I’m going to make up 1 set of the 4 colours I have left and then sell the rest as singles – I’ll pop a post up with the link to that listing when it’s published.