Bio Dyes

Natural Dyes

For natural dyes we chose different natural ingredients to be able to have a varied chromatic range from yellows, reds to blues. For this we select tumeric, hibiscus, annatto, black beans, purple corn and onion skin. With these ingredients we made the dye in different natural fabrics to check the differences between them. These fabrics are muslin, cotton and silk.


To know the variants between mordants and modifiers we structure a simple systems in rows for the mordants and columns for the modifiers. In row 1 there is no mordant, row 2 there is mordant with alum, row 3 there is mordant with iron, row there is 4 mordant with copper. In column 1 there is no modifier, in column 2 there is 2ml of vinegar per pretri dish and in column 3 the modifier is copper.

Immediate changes

From the first moment in which I immersed the tissue in the petri dish you can observe the intense changes of color in the tissue in contact with the natural dye. The fabric with the mordant must have been at rest 12h, so we prepare different containers with the mordants and with tweezers we apply them in the petri dish with the natural dye.

Violet corn. Fabric: Muslim

These are the colors with the purple corn, with this corn it is one of the natural dyes used in Peru, in the area of ​​Cuzco, where wool and alpaca fabrics are made. I was able to get this corn thanks to my friend Isaac Robles who brought it to me from Peru to be able to use it this week at Fabricademy. The chromatic range varies from roses, purples to violets. This fabric was reactive to the ph of the cardboard where I put it to dry, and as shown in the photo appeared variations in the areas where they were in contact. They are those unexpected errors that are precious.

Violet corn. Fabric: Cottom

The cotton fabric was not as reactive to the ph of the cardboard but to the ph of the Fab lab water. Personally I have loved the range of blues obtained with copper. With this fabric I could also get purple and purple colors more intense than in the muslin.

Violet corn. Fabric: Silk

The silk turned out to be the color less sensitive to the changes of the base ph, with this fabric I did not obtain blue colors, but reddish and purple and black. I am very satisfied with the results of this dye for its wide variations between modifiers, mordants and fabrics.

PH water modifier

In this video you can appreciate the change of color between the different cotton and silk fabrics, in contact with the Fab Lab water. The cotton changes to blue and the silk does not change in color.

Other dyes

The Fab lab was transformed into a laboratory of natural dyes, where we replicate the same metolodogy in all the other ingredients, creating some beautiful chromatic ranges between the different colors. In the photo we can appreciate, the purple corn, the hibiscus and the tumeric.

Black Beens

These are the results obtained with the black beans, using the same methodology, the colors are more pale compared to those of the corn, this being an interesting dye for pastel-colored, pale pink and gray shades.


In the case of the tumeric, there were no significant changes in the tonalities in the cotton fabric. Although it has reacted slightly to the ph of the cardboard. The resulting shades have been shades of intense yellow and pale yellow.