Turmeric is renowned for being a very fugitive dye. It seems such a shame since it gives such a beautiful bright, cheerful yellow.
I was given a large bag full of turmeric powder recently and decided to do some experimenting.
Traditionally in India it’s been mixed with pomegranate rind, which is rich in tannin and so more stable, and gives an ochre yellow. As the turmeric fades, the fabric then becomes less bright and more ochre.
I enjoyed making up three dye baths, first of all mixing turmeric and pomegranate rind, then adding a logwood and iron mix, then adding more pomegranate rind, logwood and iron.
I expected to obtain a stronger green when adding the logwood and iron. I love the strong colours and the tones these dye baths have given, on cotton fabric and on silk and cotton threads.
Now to find out how stable these colours are!
I have hung some pieces of the dyed fabric in the kitchen window, two from the turmeric and pomegranate rind bath, and two from the bath with logwood and iron added.
There’s going to be plenty of sun and light over the next few days, I’ll find out soon how much the colour fades.