Friday, March 11, 2011

Experiments in Dyeing Silk for Nuno Felting

The silk I use for nuno felting comes in white and I don't like how it looks when combined with dark wool. I know I will eventually use commercial dyes for silk but I don't know what color I want and you have to use all sorts of chemicals to make the dye fix to the fabric and I just didn't want to deal with that yesterday so I played around with some things you can find in your kitchen. Above from left to right we have onion skins, coffee grounds, and red food coloring. I simmered the silk in them for about an hour. And I pre-wet the silk before I submerged it.

This is onion skins. (I made a fantastic pasta dish for lunch yesterday that I will report on later that used three onions. Sigh, the sacrifices I must make for my art.)

I am very pleased with the outcome. The left is the onion skin. The center is the food coloring. It looks white but is actually a very nice shade of pink. And on the right is the coffee. The may not be light resistant, but I am not too worried for now.
I want to play with putting yellow, orange, red, and brown wool over the onion skin and coffee silk and put pink and fuchsia wool over the pink.


  1. I'm surprised that the onion skin dyed silk looks darker than the coffee dyed silk!

  2. Yay! Great colors! I did this too after our class last weekend, but I used onion skins for one, and black tea for the other silk scarf. I soaked them for three days, and they turned out not so "bright white" anymore, which was what I was going for.

  3. I think next I am going to buy those finished scarves from Thai Silks and then whip out the Jacquard dyes for some really bright colors!