Use Old Turmeric to Make Bright Yellow Fabric Dye

My sisters are talented, unlike me. Sydney (aka “Sid”) is a comic book historian (sounds fake, but obviously very serious work) and Meredith (aka “Diet”) is a visual artist who makes disturbing prints of anthropomorphic animals . She is also cunning and knows how to decorate things in a way that I cannot. I, for one, would never consider using turmeric as a fabric dye, although I end up dyeing my leather every time I cook with it.

But that, of course, is exactly what Deet did. She took a few “dirty old sheets,” mixed about a quarter can of turmeric with hot water, left the sheets soak in the mixture overnight, and washed and dried them the next morning. As you can see from the photos, everything worked.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this with fresh flavored turmeric, but it’s great for old turmeric that has lost its aroma and flavor. Online instructions for using turmeric in such a way can be found everywhere: Planthunter recommends a ratio of about 3 tablespoons of turmeric powder to 4 liters of water, plus a cup of vinegar (to help turmeric to freeze ), while the drapery recommends a generous 3/4 cup of turmeric , 12 glasses of water and a few teaspoons of vinegar. ( Who can you trust? )

At the end of the day, dimension doesn’t seem to matter that much. Diet didn’t measure or use acetic acid, and the sheets were pretty good. (I may be biased, but I think my little sister did a good job!) Use what you have, that’s what I say. If you have a small amount of odorless, tasteless turmeric, dye a small piece of fabric a bright shade, or paint a larger piece a lighter yellow.

If you’ve ever worked with turmeric, you know that it tends to stain everything it touches, so use a container that you don’t mind getting dirty or a container designed for food, such as a large pot. It might be tempting to try this in a bathtub for easier cleaning, but then you will have a yellow bathtub (at least for a while). Also know that turmeric is not a permanent color. “It will gradually fade over time,” Deet explained. “But it fades very nicely and can always be refreshed.”


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