Let's go on a journey of natural dyeing. Where nature’s colour palette was used from the beginning of human kinds existence.

Let me take you on a journey of natural dyes. Where nature’s colour palette was used from the beginning of human kinds existence. Natural dyes, inks and pigments are colourants that are derived from plants, minerals and sometimes invertebrates.

Hands squeezing out cotton fabric, dyed with turmeric
Dyeing cotton with nature’s colour palette

In the beginning

Ancient Egyptians dyed fibres made from flax using seeds and bark from common trees. Khoisan are known to have created rock art with mineral pigments from the earth like clay and even copper. Soil provided shades from cream to brown

So you ask. How does natural dyeing link to our modern day lifestyle and health?

Let me elaborate …

Why dye?

100% cotton is a versatile cellulose fiber, which breathes absorbing and releasing moisture quickly. These absorbent qualities make cotton an easy fiber to naturally dye.

For Lulubee it made sense to embrace ancient traditions of hand dyeing techniques in all our Lulubee Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps.

We value this approach for a number of reasons.

  • Natural dyes come from nature; therefore; can be returned back to nature.
  • The plant dyes we use are food safe, harvested from our land or sourced from local vegetable stores.
  • The colour wheel of natural plant dyes provide depth, tints, shades and tones, making Lulubee wraps almost three dimensional in colour.
  • Each piece of cotton absorbs the natural dyes a little differently. Even when using the same plant material, over and over again. No two dye baths are ever the same, creating a vibrant array of natural variances.
  • Pour the dye water onto a compost heap or use to water plants. Natural dyes are biodegradable and disposing of them sustainably has less impact on the environment.
Three colour variables of reusable food wraps all dyed with different natural dyes
Naturally dyed cotton: Reusable beeswax wraps

Colour palette

On the other hand synthetic dyes are inorganic comprising of chemical compounds. These artificial colours can irritate skin causing sensitivity. Dyeing with synthetic inks and pigments can be damaging to our environment and waterways.

I receive so much enjoyment from dyeing, that I have begun exploring nature’s seasonal palette and dyeing according to availability.

Here are a few plants I have experimented with success:

Onion skins, Yes onion skins. The brown and red outer shell, is often referred to as the dry husk of an onion. A glorious caramelized orange to a dusty oatmeal colour can be obtained. Don’t worry you won’t cry, when dyeing with onion skins, no onion smell or juices impart their flavour onto the fabric.

Dyeing Pot with turmeric dyed fabric inside
Dyeing Pot

If you have ever cooked with turmeric, you will know how it spices up your life, staining everything in your kitchen. Bright sun shining Turmeric a happy upbeat colour that immediately packs a dyeing punch. My family can tell when I have been dyeing with Turmeric. I wonder how?

It is avocado season right now and we have avo’s coming out of our ears, well actually from our trees. This fruit is the newest member to my world of natural dyeing. Although, not an easy pleaser, patience and hours of dyeing is the key before a blushing pink begins to emerge, revealing nature’s colour palette and all this from the humble Avocado pits and skins.

Avocado pips and skins placed on top of layered fabric dyed with this plant material
Cotton dyed with avocado pips & skins

Think again

Food is provided by nature, it allows us to thrive and sustain our bodies. The choices of foods we consume directly supports or affects our health and well-being.

Why wrap food up in something unnatural?

That’s why Lulubee Wraps are plant – based hand dyed. A wholesome approach to our reusable wraps.

A complete natural food storage, which complements our ethos:

Nourished by Nature

The process of plant dyeing is a traditional art form with low impact to the earth and one’s health.

It is a skill which anyone can learn. Experimenting, trial and really not too much error. You can perfect your own naturally dyed creations. If DIY with all its beautiful mess doesn’t suit your fancy, you can always purchase Lulubee “plant-based hand dyed” Wraps directly from Lulubee

Read our original guest post here Thrive

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