Waste not, want not. I'm not entirely frugal, but I do try to reuse things that I can. So after Saturday's Textile merit badge class, I had a full pot of vibrant cochineal dye in that dark rich red. It's one of my favorite colors so I started to look around for household items that might need a new lease on life.
Here's my favorite video about the dye. Please share it with your kids. It's a hoot!
I decided to turn a pink t-shirt into a red one.
Here's my BEFORE picture.
I soaked the shirt in soda ash in the sink in lukewarm water for about 20 minutes.
OK - the color is off in this picture. It's just soaking in the water and it already looks red. Trust me - it's still pink.
My special pot (used EXCLUSIVELY for dyeing) was filled with water and 3 heaping spoons full of the cochineal dye.
I placed the wet shirt in the pot with the leftover cochineal dye and simmered it for about 40 minutes.
The cochineal dye is so rich - it looks like a bloodbath.
After I was done cooking my shirt in the dye, I very carefully removed the shirt and placed it in the sink under cold running water. I kneaded the shirt under the running water for about 5-10 minutes until the water ran clear. Then I wrung out the excess water and placed the shirt in the dryer.
Voila! I love my new shirt so much better. I'm not really a pink person. But red is definitely one of my favorite colors. This new shirt will definitely get more wear. And I get to tell everyone it was dyed with bug juice.