How to dye clothes naturally - STEPS AND TIPS

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The dyes for dyeing clothes are full of chemicals that are harmful to the skin, the respiratory system, so to use them you have to wear gloves and a mask, and also for the environment. This is why more and more people are opting to go back to older methods that have always worked: using natural dyes. There are a large number of vegetables that are used to dye clothes and can be used without difficulties or risks. If you want your clothes that have lost color over time to look good again or you want to create new clothes, go ahead and try these techniques. So if you want to learn how to dye clothes naturallyThen you have come to the right place, because in this Green Ecologist article we reveal three totally natural products that you can use to dye fabrics.

How to dye clothes naturally with coffee

For dyeing clothes at home with natural products The first thing to keep in mind is that there is no exact amount, but rather that test before on a small piece of fabric to which you want to give color, as the result changes depending on the type of fabric, the amount of water used and the amount of the natural ingredient used, as well as the time the fabric is soaked to catch the natural dye . You will also see that the procedure for dyeing clothes with natural products is more or less always the same and little changes between one product and another.

To start we explain how to give the fabric yellow or brown color with a widely used product: coffee. For dyeing clothes at home naturally with coffee follow these simple steps:


  • Water
  • Salt
  • Vinegar
  • Coffee grains
  • White cotton fabric or with the highest possible percentage of cotton

Keep in mind that the quantities vary according to the size of the fabric and the type of fabric, if at the end you see that it has been clearer than you wanted or you have lacked fabric to be dyed, prepare more and repeat, but write down the quantities to next times.


  1. Bring the water to a boil, quite a bit, and when it reaches the boiling point add the coffee beans.
  2. Let them boil for between 1 and 2 hours so that they release the maximum of their pigment.
  3. When this time has passed, turn off the heat and strain the liquid to remove the remains of grains.
  4. Pour the natural dye into a pot or basin large enough to hold the fabric or clothing you want to dye. Position the fabric so that it is completely covered and soaked.
  5. Let it be well submerged for a minimum of 2 hours, but the more hours the more dye it will take.
  6. After this time, before removing the fabric, add the vinegar and salt to fix the natural dye well to the fabric. For each liter of water add 3 tablespoons of salt and 3 tablespoons of vinegar and stir with a wooden stick.
  7. Let the mixture sit for a couple of hours, rather submerged.
  8. When the time is up, remove the fabric or garment and drain all the water with coffee well and then put the fabric well stretched out to dry.
  9. When it has air dried well, you only have one more step left. Iron your clothes stained with coffee so that the dye will set well and have a perfect finish.

The remains of the coffee beans can still be used, we explain different ways to use the remains of coffee in the garden or pots.

How to dye clothes with beets

Another of the best natural textile dyes It is the beet or beet, with which you can get purple, purple and bluish tones.

Actually, the procedure for dyeing clothes with beets the same that we have explained with coffee. You will only need to gather the water, salt, vinegar, purple beet and the fabric or clothing that you want to dye this color, remember that it is important that it be cotton or at least it is part of its composition. Non-cotton parts of the fabric may be totally white or dyed very little, depending on the material.

The simplified steps are:

  1. Bring the water to a boil and when it starts to boil add the chopped beets.
  2. Let it boil for several hours, but don't run out of water.
  3. Remove from the heat and strain the liquid, removing the beets.
  4. Add the liquid to a basin and soak the fabric, making sure it is well covered.
  5. Let it soak for several hours, depending on the tone you want at the end, leave it longer or less.
  6. Add the vinegar and salt, 3 tablespoons of each, and stir with a stick or wooden spoon so that all the fabric is impregnated and covered.
  7. Allow the dye to set with the mixture for two hours.
  8. Drain the fabric and air dry.
  9. When dry, iron the fabric to finish setting the color.

How to dye clothes with black tea

Finally, we also recommend that you use another natural fabric dye widely used since ancient times: black tea. With this pigment you will get shades between dark yellows and dark browns, depending on the amount you use.

For dyeing fabrics at home with black teaYou will only need to buy this product in dried leaves, the same one that is sold in bulk to make infusions, or to buy bags to make tea of this type. Surely, with the bags you will need more quantity than if you buy it in bulk. Also gather the clothes that you are going to dye, the water, the vinegar and the salt.

For dye clothes with black tea You will have to follow the same steps that we have specified for the coffee, but instead of adding the coffee beans to the water, add the black tea leaves. Remember to test before and adjust the amounts as you need.

Other natural dyes to dye clothes at home

Apart from the foods for dyeing clothes that we have explained, we recommend that you try others to get a variety of colors. These are some ideas of natural products for dyeing fabrics in different colors:

Pinks and reds

To achieve these tones you have to use natural products such as red wine. these shades of flowers, such as roses, red tulips, and poppies, and red fruits, such as cherries, lingonberries, red berries, and strawberries. In addition, the beets that we have explained before can also give a pink or reddish tone, depending on the amount you use.


To dye your clothes green at home in a natural and ecological way, we recommend using the broth or juice of green leaves, such as those of vegetables. You can try spinach, chard or arugula, among more options.

Blues, purples and purples

If you want to get purple or purple tones you can boil beets in quantity or you can also boil red cabbage. On the other hand, if you are looking for a bluish tone in the same water as the red cabbage, you just have to add a little baking soda and you will get blue. Another option is to use fruits of these tones such as blueberries and blackberries.

Yellows, oranges and browns

Finally, to be able to dye the fabrics with yellow or brown tones, it is best to use coffee, teas or infusions of these tones, such as licorice, and onion skins. If you want it to be darker you will have to use more quantity and for a light brown or yellow color less quantity, also if you are looking for a deep yellow or oranges it is best to use saffron or chamomile to dye your clothes.

Some of these ingredients, like beets and saffron, are also used to make natural cosmetics. In this other article by Green Ecologist we teach you How to make organic makeup at home.

If you want to read more articles similar to How to dye clothes naturally, we recommend that you enter our category of ecological products.

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