Anyone who has harvested their own walnuts knows the power of their husks to dye. It's impossible to come away with unstained hands no matter the pairs of gloves you wear.
Last year, we dyed some cotton yarn. This year, we dyed some old cotton napkins.
We began by collecting 6 lbs. of walnuts and covered them with water.
We left the walnuts to soak for over 3 weeks!
After the 3 week soak, the walnuts look like the above picture--murky and black.
We brought the whole pot to a boil for one hour.
Then, we strained the walnuts from the dye bath.
We weighed our cotton napkins.
And then submerged them into the bath.
We let the fabric soak for 1 and 1/2 hours on low to medium heat.
Then we just let the fabric come to room temperature before washing out the excess dye and hanging it to dry overnight.
The husks can be reused again for further dye baths. Also, you can let your fiber sit longer in the dye bath to achieve a deeper shade of brown.
I love how easy it is to dye with walnuts, and the color is scrumptious!
Anna Lentz, artist and writer, blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.