Sustainably living | dyeing stained clothes

When Wallace was a baby, he spent 6 out of 7 days in a white onesie and before he was eating solid food, it worked out pretty well.  Now, a messy toddler with his hands in everything, Wallace manages to stain anything I put him in, which means, white is happening a lot less in our home.  My husband, who is a builder, also has a hard time keeping his whites clean and I am guilty of hanging on to too many white shirts long after their first stain.  Between our family, we have a healthy stack of clothing that needs to be donated or fixed and since I am on a sustainability mission as of late, I thought it would be fun to naturally dye our pile.  Coincidentally, my friend Nicole has also been collecting a stack of stained goods as she is pregnant with her first child and was handed-down loads of soiled baby items.  She also had a few stained dish towels, a pillow case, a linen dress with a stain and other random items that she added to the stack.  On Sunday we joined forces with hopes of breathing new life into old clothes.  Nicole was in charge of the Indigo and I decided to experiment with turmeric dyeing.

Natural dyeing is pretty straightforward and there is no shortage of examples on the internet but somehow, watching my old clothes come back to life felt like magic.  Mix this in a pot, add your dirty clothes and voila, just like that, stained clothes are cute again.  For the turmeric dyeing I followed this and Nicole got this Indigo Dyeing Kit.  I loved what I did for our family but the baby clothes were pretty special.  Nicole also did a tie dye pattern to a burp cloth and see how adorable it is in the image below.  This is a very easy activity and will pep up any fabric item in your house, including very gross dish towels as seen below.  After a brief dip in turmeric these soiled towels were bright-yellow beauties.  We kept our fabric choices to cotton or linen and as long as you pre-soak, they turn out great.  I am so excited that Wally and Bryan have matching shirts and marigold is officially the color of the season.  If you've got a discard pile of stained whites, I implore you to try natural dye.  You'll save yourself money and might save space in a landfill while you're at it.  

What are some of your favorite natural dyeing techniques?  Nicole and I are officially hooked!