Natural dyeing with MAdder


These Instructions take between 12- 36 hours to complete at the quickest. Please read through fully before beginning and
have fun!


This kit is designed to be as simple as possible and will produce even colors across the fabric. To learn more about tie-dyeing with madder scroll down to the bottom.

required items

Will Not Stain/ Can eat from after cleaning
-Large Cooking Pot ≥10L (narrow)
-Kitchen Scale
-Face Mask
-Cooking thermometer (clean well after use)
Will Stain/ Should not be eaten from
-Bucket ≥ 10L
-Cook Pot or jar  ≥ 1L (any shape)
-Large Stirring Spoon
-Spoon/ Cup for measuring
-Rubber Gloves
-One Jar at least 750 mL


-WEar gloves &

a dusk mask at all times.

-Keep from Eyes.

-Do not Ingest Materials.

-Do not inhale powders.

If materials do come into contact with your eyes or you inhale/ ingest them, call a physician.

Material Info

Sodium Bicarbonate, also known as Soda Ash, is a mild irritant. Most soda ash is mined with one of the largest deposits in the world in Wyoming. It has many uses industrially, including to scour fabric and as an additive along with lime to neutralize the pH of city drinking water.
Aluminum acetate is made from Bauxite, a type of rock, and acetic acid. It is primarily used for mordanting fabric and in medicines for rashes. It is a topical astringent and has antiseptic properties.
Reseda Luteola, also known as Weld or dyer's weed is a plant used for dyeing a bright yellow. Its just a plant, but do not ingest, it smells kind funny. Dye at 20-30% WoF for a medium shade of yellow.
Soda Ash For small amounts of soda ash, dilute in water and poure down drain/ toilet. For larger amounts neutralize with vinegar and then pour down drain.
Alum Best to dilute with water and slowly add to acid loving plants. Otherwise, dilute considerably and pour down drain. Note: You can reuse mordant baths see the links below for info.

Weld Compost. If you don't have a compost pile you can add this to the roots of your outdoor plants as a mulch.

Step 1

Soaking Madder (Best to do while scouring the fabric)
     1. Measure your desired amount of madder in a jar, 70-100%

     weight of fabric for medium pink-reds (or pink-oranges without


     2. Place the madder in your small cook pot or large jar. Cover  

     with boiling water, stir. Let sit overnight.
Scouring (You can also do this in a washing machine on hot, but it is not as thorough and your final result may be spotty)
    1. Fill large cookpot half full of water and bring to a boil.
    2. Measure soda ash at 35% weight of fabric into jar.
        Add slowly to warm water.
    3. Add wet prewashed fabric.
    4. Boil on low for 1-2  hours, stirring every 15 minutes.
    5. When done, let cool and rinse thoroughly.
        Set damp fabric aside.


Step 2

Mordanting the Fabric
    1. Measure 10% alum to the weight of fabric in the jar. Add boiling water and stir well until alum fully dissolves.
    2. Add hot tap water and dissolved alum to plastic bucket, stir.
    3. Place wet scoured fabric in the warm mordant bath, give it  few squeezes and leave to soak overnight. Stir ocassionally.
    4. Rinse and wring well. You can let it dry and finish dyeing another day, or leave it wet and move to the next step.

Dye Bath (Prepapre before rinsing fabric if dyeing same day)
    1. In the small cook pot bring soaked weld to a low simmer for
an hour, keeping temperature under 80 C.
    2. Strain with fabric or paper filter into jar or dyeing bucket.
    3. Fill bucket with strained dye and enough water to cover fabric.

    4. (Optional) If you want redder hues add 6g chalk per 100g madder, without the chalk the dye will be a bit more orange.


Step 3

Dyeing, Finally
    1. For even color, unfold the wet fabric, remove creases and place the fabric into the dye bath. Move the fabric around through the dye bath, working the dye into every corner.
    2. Leave overnight for the deepest shade, stir occasionally. If you want a to remove early for a pale color, remember, wet fabric appears darker and some dye will rinse out.
    3. When ready, squeeze the fabric over the dye pot . Rinse well    with cold water. Wash with neutral soap by hand or in a machine with cold water. Hang to dry

Once washed and dry you have a wearable t-shirt! Store in a dark dry place as UV light and washing are the two main causes of fading.

If you want to be bold enough and try natural tie-dye we have given it a bit of a test and can give you a few pointers (please note this is a fairly new area we are still testing out but we do have some lovely results on early tests):
-Scour and mordant as usual, let the fabric dry until just barely wet, or dry entirely and dampen lightly before dyeing.
-Create normal Dye bath and chalk if desired but do NOT add extra water after straining.
-Tie up your fabric into the desired pattern and pour onto the fabric over a clean bucket. Put the excess dye in the bucket back into the container you were pouring from and repeat until the fabric is covered to your satisfaction.
-Wrap in a bag or let sit in the bottom of a dry bucket over night.
-Rinse each section carefully by hand (make sure to not let the dye run to areas you do not want it to) until it rinses almost clear, then wash with cold water and soap.
-The leftover dye can be reused to tie-dye future projects!