DIY natural dyes for a wardrobe makeover

DIY natural dyes for a wardrobe makeover
Natural Dyes Shoot designed by Ishwariya Ramesh

Waste generated from red cabbage can turn your apparel into purple, spinach leftovers for green and beetroot scrapes change them to shades of bright red

The fashion industry is one of the biggest pollutants on the planet today. Celebrate this World Environment Day by taking a small step to reduce, reuse and recycle waste. Make use of the waste generated from the kitchen by turning it into natural dyes. This not only promotes recycling of waste; it paves the way for circular fashion at home. We spoke to the Fashion and Textile faculty at Vogue Institute of Art and Design to learn easy ways to make use of natural waste ingredients to transform your wardrobe with a new collection.

Shades of Peach

Turn those old tops into shades of peach with the use of avocado pits. Heat to boiling temperature for about 10 minutes, allow the colour to develop for 10 minutes, and dip your top in the natural dye for half hour. Depending on the fabric, the top changes to a different shade of peach. Avocado turns your linen fabric to light peach pink, silk to light peach and wool to light blush.

Yellow and Olive Green

Make use of marigolds used for auspicious occasions to turn your apparel into a light shade of yellow. The procedure is the same as avocado pits. Marigold turns cotton and linen into light yellow and can further change to olive green when a hot iron is placed on it.


Similar to the natural dye process with marigold flowers, hibiscus can be used to get a cool shade of pink on linen.

Shades of Orange

If you thought that turmeric would turn your clothes yellow, you must know it could turn your linen clothes to a shade of bright tangerine. Shred the turmeric and boil it in water for 10 minutes, place the fabric in the water and let it boil for another 10 minutes and set aside for 30 minutes. You can also turn the fabric to bright yellow with the use of white vinegar. The same method can be applied for yellow onion skins to turn your linen apparel into a warm orange shade.

Purplish Gray

Apply the turmeric based natural dye process to recycle red onion skins and turn your apparel into a purplish gray shade.

Bright Rust

Madder Root can transform your linen fabric into a gorgeous bright rust shade. Apply the same process of turmeric based natural dyes and enjoy the new look of your fabric.

Coffee Brown

As a layman, we only understand the importance of coffee as a taste maker with milk or may be water; it acts as a great dye agent for fabrics. Transform your white crop top into quirky attire with sprays of coffee syrup. Take the coffee shaded fabric and rub it with shredded potato to get a nice suede texture.

Lavender and Green

Black beans can give you a unique range of colour to your fabric. When used as colourant, it turns the fabric into a blue green shade and lavender shade. The hack is to prepare the liquid colour by mixing lavender flowers and black beans. On the other hand, prepare granules of black beans. Tie it into different places of the fabric to give it a pebble effect. Later, dip the same tied fabric into the lavender and black bean mixed colourant.

You could also use the waste generated from red cabbage to turn your apparel into purple, spinach leftovers for green and beetroot scrapes to change the apparel shade into bright red.

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