How to make plant-dyed napkins

Learn how to create subtle colours using natural dyes in this easy tutorial

Natural dyed napkins

For a darker pink colour, leave the napkins in the unheated dye bath overnight. Avocados are great for natural dyeing as they contain their own mordant, which helps the dye adhere to the fabric.

Some natural dyes can stain, so make sure you use old pans and bowls.

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You Will Need

  • Avocado stones and skins (6)
  • Water (4 litres)
  • Large aluminium pan (1)
  • Jug/bowl (1)
  • Cotton/linen ready-washed napkins

Step 1

How to make natural dyed napkins step 1

Simmer clean avocado stones and skins for an hour. Increase the heat until the water turns a reddish pink, but don’t allow it to boil. Remove the stones and skins and leave it to sit overnight.

Step 2

How to make natural dyed napkins step 2

Strain the dye into a jug or a bowl through a muslin cloth to remove any remaining bits of avocado flesh, which can cause uneven dyeing results.

Step 3

How to make natural dyed napkins step 3

Place your napkins into the pan and pour over enough dye to cover them. The napkins should be able to move freely to ensure even dyeing results, so add more water if you need to. Simmer and leave for up to an hour depending on the shade of pink you wish to achieve.

Step 4

How to make natural dyed napkins step 4

When properly cooled, take the napkins and wring them out above the dye bath to remove any excess dye, then hang them outside to dry on the washing line. Next, leave the napkins for about a week before ironing them on a medium heat to seal in the colour, then machine wash once more on a cool setting.

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This article was first published in In The Moment Magazine issue 19. Discover our latest subscription offers or order a back issue.