Dip Dyed Heirloom Carrot Napkins

March 28 2023

Hopping into Spring with these vibrant, hand-dyed napkins inspired by colorful heirloom carrots. 🥕 We even made a bunny version for Easter complete with a dyed wooden egg, of course. 🐰

 

Supplies
  • White Cotton Square Napkin
  • Rit All-Purpose Liquid Dye: Apple Green, Tangerine, Marigold, Violet, Petal Pink, Purple, Sage
  • Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative
  • Rubber Bands
  • Twine or Ribbon
  • Small Containers for Dyeing
  • Measuring Cup and Spoon
  • Paper Towels
  • Dish Detergent
  • Salt
  • Plastic Table Cover
Time
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Difficulty
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Instructions
  1. Cover your work area and gather supplies.
  2. For best results, prewash napkins, rinse and leave wet. This will help to remove any finishes that may interfere with dye absorption.
  3. Lay napkin flat on clean surface.
  4. Roughly pleat one corner of the napkin and secure with rubber bands, repeat to gather the corner on the opposite corner. These will be the “ears” of the bunny or the “tops” of the carrot.
  5. Fill 2-3 small containers with 4 cups of very hot tap water (140F). If the water is not hot enough, heat water on the stove or in a microwave and add to the dyebath.
  6. Wearing rubber gloves, add All-Purpose Dye to water; stir well.
    1. For the carrots we used: All-Purpose Liquid Dye in Tangerine, Marigold, Eggplant and Apple Green.
    2. For the bunnies we used: Petal Pink, Purple and Sage.
  7. Add 2 tbsp salt to dyebath; stir well. Salt helps to intensify the color.
  8. Add squirt of liquid dish detergent. Stir well.
  9. Test dye color by dipping a paper towel into the dyebath. If color is too light, add more dye; if it is too dark, add more water.
  10. Fold wet napkin in half so that the two gathered corners align.
  11. Wearing rubber gloves, dip the gathered ends of the napkin into dyebath until you reach the rubber bands. Move the napkin slowly up and down and back and forth. Continue dipping napkin until you are satisfied with the color. This may take 5 – 10 minutes. Color will look darker when wet and prior to washing.
  12. Repeat to dip dye the opposite end into another color of your choice.
  13. When satisfied with the color, remove napkin from dyebath(s). Wearing rubber gloves, squeeze out excess dye and set napkin aside. Continue dip-dyeing each napkin, one at a time, until all the napkins have been dyed.
  14. Place Wooden Easter Eggs into dyebath and stir until desired color is achieved. Rinse in cool water and let dry.
  15. To enhance the color and reduce color bleeding, immerse the dyed parts of the napkins into Rit ColorStay Dye Fixative for 20 minutes, following these directions.
  16. Rinse napkins under cold running water until water begins to run clear. Then wash in warm water with mild detergent, rinse and dry.
  17. Once dry, fold and tie to create desired shape.
    1. For carrots, accordion fold napkins from one corner to another and fold in half. Use twine or ribbon to tie off where the green “carrot top” begins.
    2. For bunnies, roll napkins from one corner to another and fold in half. Place dyed wooden egg at the center of the rolled napkin and fold over. Use twine or ribbon to tie a bow right above the egg to secure.

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