top of page

What Do You Need to Get Started?

What do you need to get started Natural Dyeing?

Here are my favorite, must-have and nice-to-have items.

My journey with Natural Dyes began a few years ago.

Looking to understand color better for my own fiber arts practice, I took an in-person workshop and it was down the rabbit hole I went!

Because I'm all about making eco-friendly choices and living sustainably when I can, I began my home-dyeing process with a few trips to the local thrift or second-hand store(s). It took a while to find all the pieces I have today, but items seem to pop up in unusual places just as you need them...even when you didn't know you were looking for them.

Re-using and recycling, though not as flowy, filtered and instagram-able, is the way to go, especially when working with items from Nature.

A sustainable ode of gratitude for the generous gift of color.

NOTE: There are affiliate links in this post. If you purchase through them I may earn a small commission. Thank you for supporting my tutorials and blog.

Here are the items I recommend on your journey with Mordants and Natural Dye:


* Pots to mordant and natural dye with.

Preferably, stainless steel, aluminum or enamelware. Pick up a random pot at the thrift or invest in a few that'll go the journey.

Most importantly -- Don't ever use your own kitchen food-cooking pots. Mordants are, in general, not food-safe, as well as most Natural Dyes. So clearly label your dye pots and don't confuse them for everyone's safety. Ever.

(Example) stainless steel pots

* A place to cook mordant and natural dye.

If using your kitchen's stovetop, keep mordant and natural dye pots lidded and open your windows for proper air circulation because.

Otherwise, electric burners are great for making your natural dye process more portable (e.g. use on your patio, porch, deck, garage, by a window, etc.).

Important -- Don't ever do the Natural Dye process in the kitchen while cooking foods. It's safest to simply cook while you're cooking or dye while you're dyeing...but don't mix the too for everyone's safety.

(Examples) electric burner or burners

* Stirring implements are a must, but leave you a lot of room for creativity.

Use a thrifted spoon or fork, tongs, chopsticks--even a clean stick will do--or consider investing in some of the items below, all of which are very useful too.

NOTE -- Don't ever use your own kitchen food-cooking implements. Mordants are, in general, not food-safe, as well as most Natural Dyes. So once you use them with the Natural Dye process, clearly label and don't interchange them.

(Examples) tongs or wooden spoons

* Something to weigh your fiber/fabric, mordant and natural dye, reliably.

(Example) scale (digital)