Onion Skin Dyed Tassel Hand Towel

2 Materials
4 Hours
Transform a plain white towel into a colorful masterpiece by using onion skins as a natural dye and sewing handmade tassels to the border.
MATERIALS: -White Cotton Broadcloth Dish Towel (Brand Pictured Below) -Onion Skins (I used yellow onion skins, however purple give great color as well) -Yarn -Scissors -Needle + Thread -Small Piece of Cardboard -Embroidery Thread (Optional) -(Not Pictured: a pot and a strainer)
STEP 1: Fill a pot with water and place your onionskins inside. I used 4-5 onionskins, but you can use more if you wish. Make sure there is enough water in the pot to allow the skins to float around freely. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce heat and allow the skins to simmer for about an hour.

STEP 2: While the dye bath is simmering its time to make the tassels! Take your piece of cardboard and yarn and wrap the yarn 10x or so around the strip of cardboard. End with yarn at the bottom and cut.
STEP 3: Take a 2" piece of yarn and thread it through the loops of yarn you have made and loosely tie it.
STEP 4: Slide scissors through the other end of the loops and cut carefully. Tie the 2" piece of yarn in a knot securing the strips of yarn together.
STEP 5: Loop embroidery thread tightly around the strips of yarn and tie in a knot a short distance from the top of the tassel. (Feel free to make a variety of colors and as many tassels as you feel necessary to fill the edge of your towel)
STEP 6: Get another pot and place a strainer in it. Pour the onionskin mixture through the strainer allowing the skins to separate from the dye bath. Dump the onionskins and bring the dye bath back to a simmer.
STEP 7: Wet the dishtowel so that it is thoroughly soaked before placing it in the dye bath. Allow the towel and dye bath to simmer for 30 minutes.
STEP 8: Remove the towel from the dye bath and allow cooling. Rinse with lukewarm water until the water runs clear.
STEP 9 (Optional): To add a darker layer of color as pictured simply tie off the portion of the towel you wish to be darker and repeat step 6-7, but this time only allow the portion of the towel you wish to be darker to be submersed in the dye bath.
STEP 10: Allow the towel to dry. Once it is dry mark the edge of the towel evenly so you know where to sew your tassels.
STEP 11: Trim the top knot strands from the tassels. Now time to sew them on!

Suggested materials:
  • Flour Sack Kitchen Towel   (http://www.target.com/p/room-essentials-flour-sack-kitchen-towel-white-4-pack/-/A-14441629#prodSlot=)
  • Yarn   (Michael's)
Frequently asked questions
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  • Susan Susan on May 17, 2016
    Is it permanent or is there another step to make it so?

  • I I on May 19, 2016
    Are these permanent colors? I want to dye a pair of shorts for my daughter and would prefer to sue natural dyes from food versus the one you buy at crafts stores. Look forward to your responses.

  • Lisa Lisa on May 24, 2016
    what is a mordant is it something you can make or something you have to buy? How do you know if you need a mordant? With the vegetable dyes do you need to always get fading with laundry or is there a way to set color?

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