4 Different Ways To Dye Macrame Cord (Step-by-Step Process Explained)


The structures made with macrame are so elaborate and with such original designs that they are worthy of being considered as architectural elements, This time I would like to address the different ways of how to dye macrame yarns, in a natural way.

There are several methods to dye macrame, one of the most common methods include water, fire, dye, and the fibers that will receive the color. Although it does not require much. Other methods include food coloring, tea, and other natural elements.

The dyeing process has its secrets, mainly if the idea is to obtain different tones and textures, as well as mixed, copper, or opaque colors and other effects that differentiate your work.

1-how to dye macrame cord with food coloring

To dye with food coloring you need:

  • macrame cord
  • powdered food coloring
  • normal vinegar and a saucepan.

Step-by-step process:

  1. Before dying the wool, soak it well in warm water and vinegar.
  2. The bath with warm water and vinegar makes the cuticle around the fiber spread out like a pineapple.
  3. The color can better penetrate into the fiber, which makes it washable.
  4. Take 250 ml of vinegar for about 1 liter of water (if you have a very sensitive nose, close the pot with a lid).
  5. Make sure the wool is well soaked. Air holes mean dry spots that take almost or no color.
  6. Let the wool decant for a couple of hours. It’s best to do it overnight.
  7. You can start dyeing after 2-3 hours.
  8. After pickling, carefully squeeze the yarn with your hands (do not twist it) and let it drain a little longer but not too long: it has to be wet to dye.
  9. While the yarn is being wrung out, the colored powder is prepared. For this purpose, small ceramic bowls or cups are best. It is convenient to have a syringe at hand, as it will facilitate the application of the paint, but a spoon is equally useful. a spoon will do just as well.
  10. Pour the colored powder into the bowl
  11. Place the drained yarn on a baking sheet lined with baking paper.
  12. Mix the color powder with a little warm water with vinegar. (the more powder the stronger the tone will be). You can apply the colors pure or mix them before dyeing, which enables a wide range of shades.
  13. Apply the paint directly onto the yarn strand with a syringe or spoon. It is better to take a little less at first, as the wet yarn “pulls” the color. (It’s like holding a handkerchief in a little water). This property of wool is useful when you want smooth gradients of color on white or straight blends of color gradients. If you want to get soft gradients you can put your colors with a little white.
  14.  When you are done, the baking sheet and the twine are placed in the oven for approx. 45 – 60 minutes with a fan oven at 75 ° C. You can do this in the microwave in a lot less time.

After fixing, rinse the dyed yarn with lukewarm water. Do not twist. Wool felts when exposed to friction and heat. Just gently squeeze it out. If the rinse water runs clear, your dyed yarn is also ready.

Now your yarn just needs to dry (but avoid direct sunlight).

2-how to dye macrame cord with acrylic paint

  1. Acrylic paint is an economical and creative way to dye cotton yarns, another positive aspect of acrylic paints is that they are permanent and resistant once they are attached to the yarn.
  2. To dye with acrylic paint, you must mix the colors of your choice with water in equal proportions.
  3. When you notice that the mixture is diluted, tie the yarn in small rolls without tightening them too much, to allow the paint to penetrate well into all the corners and threads of the yarn.
  4. Dip the rolls of yarn in the paint diluted with water and let them soak for more than an hour.
  5. After you remove the thread rolls, wring out the excess moisture by gently squeezing them with your bare hands, and then let them dry. As they are turned into rolls it may take more than a day for them to dry completely.

3-how to dye macrame cord with turmeric

One of the few coloring plants that can give striking colors is turmeric.

For dyeing, you can simply use the commercialized spice, and not so much because it has quite a lot of coloring power.

Depending on the amount of turmeric you use, the result will be light to strong yellow.

The powder is very tenacious and settles in all depths of the cotton rope. Admittedly, it has incredibly intense coloring power; it makes a very nice yellow.

Turmeric in bulk also works wonders. The best thing to do is to grate it. The result is yellow with a slight hint of orange.

In the process of dyeing with turmeric, you should simmer for several hours about 2-3 liters of hot water and then 30g of grated turmeric powder.

Dyeing process with turmeric

  • Put the water and turmeric in a bowl, mix well, and heat until slightly simmered.
  • Introduce the Macrame yarn and stir with a wooden spoon or something similar, to make sure the macrame is soaked all over.
  • Let it stand for 1 hour over medium heat (slightly bubbling), stirring from time to time.

4-How to dye macrame with tea

  1.  Although all teas are natural dyes, it is better to choose black tea, as its dyeing power is stronger, you can also choose red tea.
  2. The quantity of tea bags to be used will depend on the amount of water, the approximate proportion is one tea bag for each cup of water.
  3. Put water to boil in a saucepan
  4. You can use a color fixative by adding salt, in the proportion of two tablespoons of salt for every four cups of water, this will help fix the color.
  5. When the water is boiling, remove the pot from the heat and add the tea bags and let it steep for at least 15 minutes.
  6. You must make sure that the cotton thread is clean and damp before dyeing, so soak it and wring it out thoroughly.
  7. Remove the tea bags from the pot once the water has reached the desired shade. From now on you will no longer need them so you can dispose of them. Then dip the yarn to be dyed and make sure it is completely covered and let it stand for at least one hour.
  8. Remove the yarn from the container and rinse it in another container with water at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

If you are using black, green, or gold tea, you don’t need to use any vinegar. They have a natural setting ingredient in them. But, for herbal teas, such as chamomile you do need vinegar.

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