Tie and dye – the organic way

We tried something new and different from our previous projects and we loved it. We had to repeat our work twice as the first attempt was unsatisfactory. In a way am glad as it taught P not to give up.

I decided to try some tie and dye with P for a change. Since I didn’t have the ready made dyes, I decided to use vegetable extracts. It was the day of beetroot in our menu anyway.

So out came an old white handkerchief, pulses and string. I got P to count and put 3-4 pulses and place them on the cloth. Then we cut a piece of string and tied it around keeping the pulses inside.



While P managed to cut the string, tying was a new thing he was learning, so it added to the fun. We repeated this till we had a few balled up ‘hills’ like P named it.


Then we dipped it in salted beet water and boiled it. While P patiently waited for the magic to unfold, I realised the colour was not catching on – probably because the proportion of water was too much.


P was most disappointed to see a very faded version of purple when we finally rinsed the cloth and removed the knots.

Pacified him and had another go at it but this time we tied using rubber bands. I used turmeric powder as I was fairly sure the colour would catch on. Also this time we boiled the water and then dipped the tied cloth and kept boiling it for a few minutes.

A quick rinse and untying of knots, P was awe stuck with the magic design and magic colour.

P plans to gift his magic ‘tiiiieedd and dycd’ hankie to amma ‘only if she behaves well!’


The down side of this – now he thinks veggies are great for colouring so lets not waste by eating it!


9 thoughts on “Tie and dye – the organic way

  1. Woww…that was a good exercise….really feel sad for malu as I don’t get time at all wth her to do these stuff nowadays….

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