Natural Fabric Dyeing in Autumn/Winter - Acorns & Pine Cones

Updated: Jan 27

This week, over on our Instagram I've shared with you our guide to natural dyeing and getting started. It's time to use what you've learnt and start experimenting! In case you missed them, you'll find the original stories in our Instagram highlights under 'natural dyeing'.

What will you need?

  • Fabric and/or trimmings for dyeing - they need to be made from natural fibres otherwise they won't take the dye well at all

***We used our natural white bamboo silk, super soft bamboo/cotton jersey, linen and natural

trimmings, which dye really well due to the natural fibre content of them.*** Basically, just avoid anything that is already coloured and if you're using materials you already have, avoid anything synthetic.

  • Acorns, acorn cupules or pine cones We used: 240g Acorn cupules and started with 4 pints of water 400g Acorns and started with 2 pints of water 400g Pine cones and started with 3 pints of water

*** Please note that water volume can depend on the size of your pan. The pan we used for the acorns was smaller than the rest so we didn't need as much water to cover them - just make sure there's enough water to cover what you've got in the pan to start with***

  • 1 x large saucepan/ glass or ceramic container

  • 1 x large dyeing pot

  • 1 x stainless steel or wooden spoon

  • 1 x sieve

TIP: Make sure you have separate pans for natural dyeing and cooking. You can often find some great aluminium pans in charity shops and at your local tabletop sale.

The Method

Preparing your acorns, acorn cupules or pine cones and materials

Choose what you're going to natural dye with. Rinse your acorns/acorn cupules/pine cones in water washing away any mud and grass etc.

TIP: Use the leftover water to water your plants!

Iron or steam your fabric/s and ribbons/trimmings so that the dye won't sit in any creases when they're naturally dyed.

Making the dye

Before you start dyeing your materials the dye needs to be made. I recommend starting this in the morning so can you carry out the process throughout the day.