Since now I have a bit of amaranth grown in my garden. I have decided to make some fabric dye out of them. I have found out that it is a dye that needs solar dyeing instead of the usual heat and dip technique. This undertaken in order to obtain good vibrant colours.
I like dyeing with this all purpose plant in which is high in nutrients, edible and is also dyeable. It’s also very easy to grow as well in the garden. They are also drought hardly so easily grown in warm climates or in the summer here in the UK.
Amaranth are also available to buy from Asian grocers so do ask and shop around.
Below picture is a shibori patterning I made while dye with amaranth and experiments with different types of fibres. The fibres I have used are silk, wool (protein) and cotton (cellulose).
For the fibres above I did pre mordant them in alum before putting them in the dye pot.
I did try the solar method but it didn’t work out too well as there wasn’t much sunlight nowadays. It’s october weather here in London the days are getting shorter. This is because the weather is now heading into with daylight hours getting shorter. Then I decide to make some more dye out of the last amaranth grains. As a result the dye did get into the fabric the second time round.
So in one plant there are of uses from cooking the leaves in sir fry, Amaranth stir fry using the grains in cereals and using the whole plant in the dye pot. I just chop the leaves up or boil the grains on a pot of water. Dye pot ready. Don’t use grains that are too old. As the colour one will only gets us just brown. Tips on how to grow and harvest amaranth is here Growing and harvesting amaranth