First Day's eggs (W/O means no vinegar)
I posted earlier that we would like to use natural egg dyes this year for Easter. I didn’t really say what my goals were for this but what I’m looking for are dyes that meet the following criteria:
- Are naturally derived: food based if possible
- Can be made on short notice: like when it is Saturday night and you realize Easter is tomorrow
- Do not require mordants or anything else other than vinegar and the dye substance
- Are reasonably priced: sorry Saffron is out for yellow eggs
- Will last for more than one day so you can make the dye ahead of time
- Can be composted when finished: so as not to waste anything
I know I could have researched all this on the internet, but that really doesn’t fit with my sense of adventure. I have read about this topic before so did know a few things. I figured I’d start with what I had on hand and see what I could come up with for orange/yellow.
Carrot Water - doesn't dye
My first attempt failed miserably. I used grated carrots – 1 C to 2 C water boiled for ten minutes in the microwave. The water looked orange but in the end did nothing to the eggshell with or without vinegar.
My second attempt was better and has a lot of promise. I used 1 tsp of Turmeric to 2 C water boiled for 3 minutes in the microwave. This produced a light yellow color with and without vinegar. I have it in the fridge now to see if I can use it again. If you added more Turmeric you would definitely get a stronger color. I think probably 1/2 T to 1 cup water might be about right, plus 1 T vinegar. (I’m seeing if that is really necessary like EVERYONE says it is.) UPDATE 4/4: I did redo this with 2 tsp turmeric to 1 C water and the egg dyed faster but did not get any more color.
I ran out of eggs at this point – mostly we use brown eggs – so I’ll have to work on this again later when we need to restock. Check back later or subscribe to our feed for other results. When I’ve got the whole thing pulled together I’ll be publishing an ebook you can download with all my findings to keep on hand when you need emergency egg color. I hope to have it ready before Easter so you can use natural dyes too this year.
Light Yellow Dye - 1 tsp Tumeric, 2 C water, 1 T vinegar
So we’ve got a yellow. I’d like to find options for five or six colors and know some for sure colors already like blue/blueberries, red-pink/beets, green/spinach and brown/tea or coffee but I need to see how well they last overnight. Not sure what will come next.
3/31/11 update – The turmeric dye will NOT work straight out of the fridge if you try to keep it overnight. It DID work after 2 minutes of heating in the microwave and some stirring BUT the results were not as good as what I got with the fresh dye. The good thing is this one is so easy to whip up you can do it in a couple of minutes fresh. Also want to warn folks, this dye doesn’t just dye eggs, it stains things – like my counter. And my kitchen towels. And my fingers. (Hmm… might be good for fabric dyeing, have to try that in the summer.)
Turmeric stain on my countertop