Professor Simpson said, “In demonstrating natural dyeing for the Introduction to Textiles class, it showed the original way fabric was dyed using herbs, flowers, and vegetables. We used turmeric and indigo dye as the dye sources. The experiment also showed students a more sustainable way to dye fabric using natural dyes as well as how much time and energy it takes to make the beautiful colors we see in our clothing today.”
On Monday, October 30th, 2017, Professor Leslie Simpson and I demonstrated a natural fabric dying technique with her Introduction to Textiles class. We began with boiling water in two pots on an electric portable double burner. Once the water came to a rolling boil we added Saxon Blue Liquid Indigo dye to the pot on the left burner, and added two table spoons of turmeric powder, plus a table spoon of kosher salt, to the pot on the right burner. We allowed the indigo liquid dye and the turmeric to boil for about 30 minutes and while the dye was boiling, I pre-soaked strips of natural fabrics in warm water. The students participated by placing the presoaked fabric strips into the dye pots – we split our fabric in half, placing the silk knit strips in the turmeric pot and the muslin strips in the indigo dye pot. As the fabric began dying, Professor Simpson went over other natural dying techniques and substances. Approximately 45 minutes later, after I removed the fabric strips from the pots, the students returned to see how their pieces had absorbed the two different colors.