Previously on Hope’s Dye Lab…we saw the samples hanging up to dry above the kitchen sink. What happened next? What recipes were concocted in the witch’s cauldron? I bet you are ‘dye-ing’ to see…ew I’m sorry that was awful *cringe*

Well, I hand washed the fabric and samples in the sink, using fabric detergent. Luckily not too much more dye ran from the fabrics, I was holding my breath on some of them. Unfortunately, my heart was broken by the beetroot – which decided to run almost completely out of the fabric, after getting my hopes up when I saw the fabric sitting in this stunning, vibrant magenta/red ‘dye bath’. If I were to dye with beetroot again, I think I would use different ratios to create stronger concentration of beetroot.


However. the beetroot was interesting because it acted as a form of colour-corrector against the original warm toned beige shade of the calico canvas and resulted in a very pale pink, almost white, shade on the fabric.
Next on the makeshift washing line, was the avocado, carrot and spinach dyes. The spinach and carrot dyes both washed out somewhat to a very pale green shade. The avocado dyed the canvas a pale grey/blue shade.

Spinach on the left, carrot on the right:

After researching dying with avocado skin and pits, I had expected a pale pink colour to appear in my saucepan. I had scrubbed the avocado shells and pits beforehand to ensure no sneaky bits of green crept in and cancelled out the pink. Yet, the combination of boiling both shells and pits at the same time, rather than in separate batches, resulted in a cool toned grey blue.


With the slight disappointments of the avocado, beetroot and spinach all to one side, next is the onion and blueberry dyes. Shockingly, the red onion peelings created a dark, musty brown with green undertones and the blueberry created a beautiful, deep purple/blue shade.

Red onion:


Initially I envisioned the record sleeves having a tie-dyed background (created using natural dyes) to mimic vintage band t-shirts from the 1970s etc. Even though most of my dyes were muted tones, I experimented with tie-dying a few pieces of material in the onion and blueberry dyes. As seen in the samples below, parts of the samples were successful; however, if I were to attempt the tie-dye again, I would use a smaller tool to create the spiral (for this experiment, I used a fork as the centre point to twirl the fabric -it had worked when I was tie-dying larger t-shirts a few months ago).

Onion tie-dye:

Onion and orange tie-dye on thin white corduroy:

Blueberry tie-dye:

Last one left on the washing line is the orange dye, with its last-minute transformation:

Orange before (left) and after (right):

After a rather pale test sample from the orange dye pot, with little colour difference to the original canvas material, I made the last-minute decision to add ground turmeric. Despite not technically being a ‘food waste product’, we already had several tubs of it on the spice rack next to the stove and it created this wonderful, rich shade of golden yellow/orange. Adding the turmeric saved the batch of orange dye from being useless and bland.

(Side note: I used my scanner to document the samples because the lighting showed the true colours of the samples better than my camera under the warm toned lightbulb in my room/studio)

Next on the agenda is sketching designs inspired by different albums and then choosing a corresponding dye colour for the record sleeve.

Stay tuned!

Leave a Reply


Report this page

To report inappropriate content on this page, please use the form below. Upon receiving your report, we will be in touch as per the Take Down Policy of the service.

Please note that personal data collected through this form is used and stored for the purposes of processing this report and communication with you.

If you are unable to report a concern about content via this form please contact the Service Owner.

Please enter an email address you wish to be contacted on. Please describe the unacceptable content in sufficient detail to allow us to locate it, and why you consider it to be unacceptable.
By submitting this report, you accept that it is accurate and that fraudulent or nuisance complaints may result in action by the University.