This is a blog post on fabric dyeing with pomegranate. Pomegranate is a fruit that is grown the tropics that are now easily available to buy in supermarkets. I have bought mine online from Waitrose grocery supermarket. Only the rinds yield the dye colors, not the pips/ seeds that you can eat raw and in salads. Therefore, if one is saving the rinds it is better to buy lots of fruits rather than just one big fruit. Of course, if your own pomegranate fruit tree is producing fresh fruits this is not such an issue.
Pomegranate is a not so fugitive dye due to its natural tannin content. No mordant is needed to make the color stick to the fabric. It is one of the few kitchen dyes that last on fabrics. Here is some information about pomegranate from Maiwa.
It is possible to use the pomegranate fresh or dried. To dry the rinds personally I find it hard to dry it without mold forming. This is very unlike avocado skins and seeds. It is also possible to obtain it in powder form from natural dye suppliers but they are just so expensive and it is just not worth buying it for dyeing.
Fabric dyeing with pomegranate
For this experiment, I have used fresh rind from 2 fruits and dried rind from one fruit. I boil it down till the rinds start to soften and yield brownish color. The usual mix of fibers of silk, wool, cotton plus lyocell jersey. Lyocell jersey is an organic natural fiber made from wood pulp. It was source from a company called Organic textile company and I must say they provide an excellent and fast delivery service even in these difficult times.
I did a fundamental mistake though with skins as I didn’t blend it down properly after it was cook through. As for small experiments, it will be all right but not garment pieces. I also dye a piece of cut Lyocell fabric to be made into a jersey top. As a result, the dye colours look rather patchy on the cut Lyocell jersey pieces.
I also then dye then without mordant (bottom left picture). Then with pre alum (top left), pre alum & iron post (top right), and iron only (bottom right). Here is the result below.