From August through late October we hear the frequent and familiar thump of one walnut after another hitting the ground. There is also daily thunder as they strike the tin roof on our little barn. So, as you can imagine, I have a huge source for creating a walnut dye.
Here's some shots from this weekend's project and last night's dye bath. I give my step by step approach after the pics. NOTE: I wear plastic gloves for every part of the process and caution you to do the same or your hands will be stained for at least a week!
- Collect green walnuts.
- Squish off the outer hulls and separate from the nuts. (see video here)
- Place hulls in a 5 gallon bucket and cover with water.
- Soak for several days.
- Strain (I use an old t-shirt) enough liquid to fill 3/4 of a stainless steel pot.
- Boil liquid for an hour or two.
- Add rope and/or fabric to pot and boil for at least an hour. (Let it sit over night for a stronger and darker color.) I used cotton for both.
- Remove material from liquid dye and rinse until water runs clear.
- Wash in machine on cold cycle and tumble dry to set color.