Solar Dyeing with Kids

This is such an easy dye technique anyone can do it!

All you need is…

  • A jar with a lid that can secure to the top or alternatively wax paper & string/rubber band
  • Water
  • Natural fabrics, yarn or thread
  • Plant materials
  • String

I always find onion skins both yellow and red transfer to the fabric really well but you could try leaves from trees, shrubs and ferns. Eucalyptus leaves are great to try and you can even use old rusty nails or bits of copper, even tea leaves are worth sprinkling over the fabric. Beetroot and red cabbage also do well, and so do red berries but I often can’t bring myself to use them when all I want to do is eat them! Give anything a go!

  1. Wet out your fabric, yarn or thread so it is damp; you can mordant these in advance if you wish to.
  2. Place your natural materials on to your fabric.
  3. Fold or roll your fabric up with the natural materials inside and tie with string. You can also do a layering of natural materials and fabrics etc until the jar is full.
  4. Fill jar with water to cover everything and secure the top.
  5. Set in the sunniest position you can find so the water is heated as long as possible; turn every couple of days so that every part of the fabric gets exposed to the sun.
  6. Leave for as long as you can; a month is great if you can stop the urge to open the jar and see what the fabric looks like!

Solar Dyeing on Linen

Solar Dyeing on Raw Silk

Solar Dyeing on Cotton

There is lots of information online about solar dyeing and printing. There is some great information and videos on and

Have fun!!