Friday, April 23, 2010

Homemade Dyes

In my recent venture, Tinctures & Tonics, i've been playing apothecary and creating potions and bath products using homegrown herbs and other various botanicals. But what about pretty colors? So far i've been relying on store bought turmeric and occasional use of regular old food coloring. I would prefer to make it all myself.
What i've tried so far:
  • Dehydrated some dill and ground it for green dye. Haven't tested it yet, but i bet it will work for soaps and candles, unless it just floats. Perhaps if i rub it in some oil first and then mix it in.
  • Dehydrated beet root. Can't beat this opacity! Dehydrated and ground, i'll have to use this sparingly to be sure not to 'stain' my product users (no one wants to wash their hands and have them come out pink!)
  • Beet Root stain - boiled it down for a few hours. May just try and dye my hair with this, we'll see ;)
  • Sage flowers - lilac purple. Not sure if these will work, but it's worth a shot.
Obviously, i haven't tested these things out. But soon, SOON! i'll make my first batch of homemade, cold processed soap (and hopefully not burn myself with lye repeatedly, as i did in some rather disturbing dreams last night). I'll report back then.

In the meantime: do you have any tips/recipes for creating homemade dyes and colorants, suitable for soap making and salt coloring?

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Thank you so much for your feedback, especially if you've cooked one of my recipes or tried one of my tips: let me know how it turned out!