Thursday, April 16, 2009

Natural Easter Egg Dying Workshop

The day before Easter I taught a workshop at Maison Réve in Mill Valley on natural egg dying. There were toddlers, teens, parents and great aunts all assembled to learn how to create these beautiful naturally died eggs. The dying was easy, but the distillation and preparation of the dyes before hand was very time consuming.

After researching and experimenting I decided I liked the red cabbage dyes the best, which created this beautiful French blue hue (shown below). Boiled tumeric produced a sunny yellow, and red onion skin produced an olive green. The crazing effect happened all on its own.

For best results on creating natural egg dye, boil 6-8 cups water with 1 head chopped red cabbage for about 10 min, then simmer for another 20. Strain and allow cabbage water to sit for about 2 days before use. When using tumeric or red onion leaves, follow the same process substituting cabbage with the skin of 5 onions and 1/4 cup tumeric respectively. For all dyes, add 2 tablespoons alum (found in the spice aisle) to the water mixture. Alum is a mordant that will help the dye adhere to the egg shell. Allow the eggs to sit in the dye awhile. When you remove the eggs, allow them to dry so that the color will stick to the egg. Try not to touch the egg too much or wipe off the dye. You should have beautiful naturally died eggs great for egg and hunts and Easter decorations!

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