Working With Natural Fabric Dyes - Flower Petal Tie-Dye

Hi Everyone! In Part 2, we explore the world of flower petals as a natural dye. The colors found in nature, especially flowers are such a delight. Every delicate bloom is not only beautiful but also a happy little surprise. One of the highlights of this year has been that we've had plenty of time to cultivate our at home flower-cutting garden! My favorite flower is the Dinner Plate Dahlia and this past spring I worked to divide the tubers and spread them out in my flower bed. I was pleasantly surprised when they all grew amazingly well, it's been a simple pleasure to watch these grow and cut them to enjoy inside for a few days at a time. When I came across this flower petal bundle dyeing technique, I was so excited to have a way to capture the essence of this flower to enjoy for years to come! 


How To Dye Fabric With Flower Petals

Follow along in this tutorial to see how simple it is to create a uniquely dyed piece of fabric for your next project. We've used purple dahlia petals, red rose petals, and a variety of leaves and even dandelion blooms for this project, but you can choose whatever blooms you have to create your dye selection. 

Watch the video for below:


 Here's a full breakdown of the tutorial. I encourage you to try this one out!

Supplies and Resources:

This project is also pretty simple, and uses basic supplies you probably have on hand.

  • Fresh flowers - the number of flower petals you'll need will depend on the size of your fabric. In this example, we have a 1/3 yard cut of white rayon challis and a small bowl of flower petals, enough to cover half the width of the fabric.
  • A large metal pot. A stainless steel pot is great for dying because the dye won't transfer to the surface of the pot. Check stores like Goodwill to find one for this purpose!
  • A steam rack insert, or collander, or a BBQ grilling basket (that's what we had on hand and it worked great!)
  • Twine or string to tie the fabric bundles
  • White vinegar to help set the dye.
  • Fabric. You can choose a variety of fabrics for this experiment. As with the examples in part 1, the color result will vary depending on the fibers the fabric is made from. 
    • Rayon Challis - Here is the before and after using the tightly rolled method.
    • Woven Cotton - here's a look at a woven cotton, with a sateen finish. This one was rolled more loosely and the dye fromt he petals is more abstract.


Week Two Task:

  • Watch the tutorial video and follow along to create your own flower petal dye.
  • Select your flowers and pull apart the petals.
  • Mix a soaking solution of 3 parts water to 1 part vinegar. We did 3 cups to 1 cup for 1/3 yard of fabric. Place the solution in a large bowl or pot and soak the fabric for 1 hour.
  • Rinse and ring our the fabric. Lay it flat on your work surface.
  • Place the flower petals on the fabric, covering half the width.
  • Fold the fabric back over the petals sandwiching them between the two layers.
  • Tightly roll the fabric and bind the bundle with twine.
  • Set up a large pot filled about 1/3 with water place a stemer rack on the pot and add the fabric bundles, cover with a lid and "steam" for 2 hours.
  • Turn or rotate the bundles every 30 minutes.
  • Let the bundles cool and sit overnight.
  • Unwrap and remove the flower petals
  • Rinse the fabric and hang to dry.
  • Press the fabric as the final step.
  • Now comes the hard part! What will you make with your uniquely dyed fabric?


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August 19, 2020

Would this method work using dried flower petals?? TIA


August 14, 2020

This is so cool! I had heard of using onions and beets to dye, but never would have imagined using avocados, and the color is so pretty!
When I view the videos, I can view both week 1 and week 2. But when I try to download, both of them have the same Tie Dye title. The one for avocado isn’t there.

Mae Lynn Beck
Mae Lynn Beck

August 12, 2020

Can’t wait to try this. In Week 2 Task the directions say to use 3 cups vinegar to 1 cup water. Shouldn’t it be 3 cups water to 1 cup vinegar?

Diane R
Diane R

August 12, 2020

Most of our flowers are past using for this, guess I’ll have to stop at the flower shop and see if they have any not so perfect flowers that I can get at a reduced price or free. May even try some greenery too.


August 11, 2020

Oh wow how cool is that ! Looking forward to trying it.

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