Sunday, August 25, 2019

My Eco Take Away Bag & Turmeric Dyeing

Hello Dear Friends,

"Et Voila" .... my "Curry Dye Job" as dear Josie (of Sew for Soul) called it!

Previously my little Take Away bag looked like this:

but it looked sooooo white, and you know, if it is going to be used it won't stay this colour for long! So I asked everyone what they would do to decorate it!

Thank you all your wonderful ideas my friends, and they are all great ideas! 
But in the end I was really really tempted by the idea of experimenting with Turmeric Dyeing.

I wasn't sure where to start! I've read lots of blogs where people have documented their experiments with dyeing fabric but, of course, I don't exactly remember who they were to find those notes again!

So ...... I Googled "Fabric Dyeing with Turmeric" and found an article by Becky Striepe (of Glue and on "Crafting A Green World", an Eco Friendly Craft site.

Well, I was hooked ..... for two reasons ...... 

firstly, because Becky's beautiful lacy yellow handkerchief looked so pretty, 
(you can be see her hankerchief here: "Crafting A Green")

and, secondly, because it is an environmentally friendly method of dyeing, and I am soooo into saving the planet!!

So, on a sunny morning last week I decided to have a go!

Warning: Don’t forget, if you try this, Turmeric really stains, be careful to wipe up any spillages immediately!!

I followed Becky's method of using a Mordant (although I've since read elsewhere that Turmeric doesn't need one) of salt (2oz) and water (1 litre), boiling the fabric in the liquid for an hour,

and then, in a clean pan .....

bringing a mixture of turmeric (2 x 15ml) and water (1/2 litre) to the boil, simmering for 15 minutes.
Turning off the heat and immersing the fabric (I used pre-washed Calico).
Becky suggests checking the colour of the fabric after 10-15 minutes, but mine soaked for around 45 minutes (while we stopped for lunch!)
No, this wasn't lunch! Tee hee!  

At this stage the fabric was this gorgeous colour:
Oops this photo is a little darker than I realised!

Becky's instructions said to rinse in water until the water ran clear, but maybe I rinsed it too much as I lost that rich colour!

I hung all the fabric out on the washing line but, maybe that was wrong ..... it was sunny, maybe that faded the colour.
You can see from this photo it just looks like a paper bag now,
instead of my lovely dark yellow!

Have any of you had any experience of dyeing with Turmeric?

Do you know if I've missed a step, or was there anything else I could do to keep its colour?

Stop Press:

We went out for a curry a few days later and were laughing with one of the restaurant's owners,  showing her the Take Away bag I'd made, before we had our meal, and telling her that if we had ordered more than we could eat we would be using my own take away boxes and the home made bag  I had brought with me to take any extra away! 

In the event we finished everything ..... so we ordered more to take away. I should have asked them not to heat the take away food as were going to save it for later (or possibly freeze the food) because when it came out it was too hot to put in the bag ..... but what I was trying to say was that we have used my bag (and it hadn't shrunk with all the washing) and the boxes were absolutely as full as they could be!!!!!

But even then we had to ask them to take back their paper carrier bag, and the plastic bag they had also put the food in because I really was going to rely on my Curry Dyed Take Away bag!
Oooh, that's Tarka Dhal in t here!
But don't look at the loose threads
- after all, this bag was only meant to be a prototype ..... at first!

And we made it home with no spillages at all! Yay me! The Eco Warrior!! Tee hee!

Sorry, I just had to say!

Ooooh, just to summarise: I am really pleased with this little project! The take away boxes fitted in perfectly (well, it was "made to measure" after all!). Although I was excited with the mustard colour, it disappeared during drying and probably that was no bad thing after all ..... now it does look much like a paper bag, so I won't feel too conspicuous carrying it home. (I'm sure I will be reheating the left over turmeric dye for another bag!!)

As this was the first time I have attempted Fabric Dyeing I am linking to Fiona's blog - Celtic Thistle Stitches for her "New to me" blog party.


I know most of us use fabric bags for shopping these days but do you go further? For example, when we eat out the staff want to give us new serviettes with each course, does this happen to you, and do you stop them? I do.

I'm on the look out for shops that do more to stop the waste. We have one opening nearby soon. I understand they weigh bottles before they are filled so they know how much to charge ...... but I haven't been there yet!

I always take a bag for my bread, so I don't have to take the shop's paper bags, and I wash out plastic cereal bags and re-use them or the bags I've made when shopping ...... but really isn't it time manufacturers did their bit too and change to eco friendly packaging.

Why is it taking them sooooo long?

Barbara xxx


Isabel para ALROMASAR said...

So fantastic!!!!
Hugs from Spain

Mary Ann Tate said...

I always take my own cloth shopping bags when I go shopping. I think it was in 2009 that the grocery stores here had to charge you 5 cents per plastic bag if you wanted one to encourage people to use cloth bags. I don't think they do anymore which is a pity. I'm so used to using my own bags now that I'd never go back to plastic :)

Anaisa said...

Woohoo! How beautiful is the color of your bag, a great idea to dye it with turmeric that I will consider in my next job!ja!ja!!
I like very much!!


Birthe Marie said...

So exciting to dye fabrics with turmeric. It became very nice color. I have no experience with textile dyeing. you are good at thinking about the environment! If everyone makes small changes, big things can happen in nature. I have sewn both big shopping bags and small cloth bags that I use when buying fruits and vegetables. :-)

Jo said...

Right that is it, I am making a take away bag. Great idea. JO x

Kim said...

Good on you for your efforts in saving the environment. I always have a spare cloth bag or two in my shoulder bag when I shop. I love the idea of dyeing with turmeric. You are so right when you say it stains. We cook and eat a lot of curries here and I have learnt the lesson of washing turmeric spills straight away.

Tiffstitch said...

So true on the plastic, and I love how well your bag came out, well done!

White Rose said...

Hi Barb what an interesting post,i havent done any fabric dying before,i think your bag looks great with the turmeric dye bath,what a shame most of it washed out.
I love the shape of the bag you made and its fantastic how you made it to fit those takeaway containers,you are very clever my friend,well done xx

Faith... said...

Love the color it came out! I have a couple reusable nylon bags and I keep them in my car except for one that I keep folded up in my purse! They come in very handy.

Celtic Thistle said...

Great job done on the dying Barbara! I have a couple of books on natural dyes at home will check them when I get back to see if they have any advice on retaining the colour and let you know.

Lin said...

Your bag looks great in its new colour way. I use alum as a mordant for natural dyes but have not tried turmeric. Maybe I should! xx

Andree G. Faubert said...

Hi Barb, that is a lovely take-away bag. We can only hope that companies will start doing their bit to help the environment!

Magpie's Mumblings said...

It turned out perfectly Barbara - I love it! Although I'm with you in wishing it had stayed a little bit more like the original colour when it first came out of the dye. I wonder if (and I have NO experience with this) you were to let it dry and iron it before you rinsed the colour out. Perhaps the heat from the iron would help set the colour?

Christine said...

I love how your bag turned out, I think the faded turmeric colour is just perfect.
I know what you mean about packaging - I remember when I was little lots of things being sold loose or in paper packaging, how hard can it be to go back to that?

RJ said...

What a pretty color Barbara and such an interesting post. I have never dyed before but it is very tempting. I've been gone this last week at a reunion with our six best friends from college. So today I'm catching up with all my blogging buddies. I hope you will come by and see us soon. RJ@stitchingfriendsforever

MARIELA Inspirada said...

It's an amazing curry dyed Take Away bag! It became in a nice colour and that's a great contribution for the environment. We have to do more little things like this, every effort helps. Besitos...

Sandra Walker said...

Okay drat I know I read this post, because I love eating turmeric in foods, never thought of using it to dye but of course it would be great! Must've read it on my phone where I can't comment... This is a super bag, useful, and so cute, and thank you for the tutorial! I need to make a few more shopping bags. The old ones are very old and some are pretty ratty.

Janine @ Rainbow Hare said...

Your dyeing has been a great success. I always take my own bags out with me too :)

Érica said...

Lindas e úteis ecobags!

Astrids dragon said...

Great job on your "curry" bag and for being an Eco Warrior! I have enough bags that I reuse for shopping, so luckily I don't have to make them.

Creando y Fofucheando said...

Holaaa Bárbara! que idea mas buena,no se me habia ocurrido,jajaja,es genial
Ha quedado muy bien,muchas gracias por explicarnoslo
Me ha encantado
Un besote grande! :)

Mia said...

What a LOVELY bag, Barbara! Kisses, my friend. I am back from vacation.

Bethan said...

Amazing! I love how you have tried something new to jazz up your bag. And yay to it successfully carrying take out home x

Benta AtSLIKstitches said...

Well done! Great saving-the-planet steps!!