Natural dyes, sustainable textiles, art, clothing

Datça, Türkiye
| 420 Sales | 4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 out of 5 stars

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sat-su-ma studio

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sat-su-ma studio


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Sales 420
On Etsy since 2021

The art and craft of natural dyeing

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  • Özge Horasan


    I'm an artist holding an MSc in biology. My artistic journey is a reflection of this commitment as I exclusively work with natural materials, including plant dyes, plant fibers, and earth. Please visit my personal website for more

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Last updated on Jul 11, 2021


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Last updated on Jan 22, 2023

Frequently asked questions

Where should I start natural dyeing?

To start natural dyeing, first, decide what you want to dye. Will it be plant fibers such as cotton, linen, or hemp, or animal fibers like wool or silk? Once you have made this decision, choose a method of mordanting that suits you and your chosen natural fiber. We offer mordanting kits with sufficient mordant material and instructions to follow.

After completing the mordanting process, you can begin dyeing. The dyeing process involves dissolving the dyes in water and heating the fiber in this solution. The process is experimental, as the parameters such as how much you heat and how long the fiber remains in the dye will vary depending on the desired color.

I live in the city, in an apartment, can I still dye naturally?

Yes, you can still dye naturally even if you live in the city and in an apartment. You will need a few plastic pots, a steel pot, a kitchen scale, a spoon to stir, and an oven. It is recommended not to use the containers used for dyeing for food. Mordanting can be done in the bathroom or on the balcony, not in the kitchen.

How do natural dye extracts differ from dry or fresh plant materials?

The main difference is that natural dye extracts are much more concentrated because only the dyeing substances are taken from dry plant materials, and the rest is returned to the soil as pulp. Therefore, for example, you can reach a desired shade of color using 10g of pomegranate extract instead of 1kg of dry pomegranate peels. This makes the extracts more affordable. Additionally, it allows for standard dyeing, as the amount of dyestuff in the extract is constant, making it possible to achieve the same result in multiple applications. This is difficult to achieve with dry plant material. Extracts are also in powder form, making it easy to mix them in a controlled manner.

Should I definitely do mordanting?

Mordanting always provides more homogeneous, saturated, and permanent dyeing. Therefore, we always recommend mordanting, unless otherwise specified to achieve a certain color. The only exception is indigo, as no mordanting is required for this type of dyeing. Our indigo dyeing kit includes the necessary explanations and materials for dyeing.

What is in your mordanting kits?

Our mordanting kits include various salts and compounds in powder form to mix in various proportions. Importantly, they do not contain anything toxic.

How is the fastness of dyes in natural dyeing? Do they wash away?

The fastness of natural dyes varies depending on the plant dye used. Some plant dyes are very sensitive to washing and/or light due to their nature. However, with good dyeing techniques, satisfying fastness can be achieved. The fastness of our extracts is pretty satisfying. Mordanting also plays an important role in fastness. A good recipe must be well implemented. Additionally, the process should not be rushed during the dyeing phase. If these factors are taken into consideration, there should not be much sensitivity to light, as well as washing away.

What should we wash naturally dyed textile products with?

Use only natural soap and detergents. You can wash in the washing machine with herbal detergents that you can find in the markets. You can also use soap nuts, which are a natural alternative to synthetic detergents. Avoid using fabric softeners or bleach as these can affect the color of the natural dyes. Also, it's recommended to wash the textile products separately in the beginning to ensure colorfastness. After a few washes, you can wash them with similar colored clothes.

I natural dye myself, but I can not reach your results, what should I do?

Achieving the same results as professional dyers can take time and experience. Natural dyeing is a craft that requires experimentation, research, and practice. The colors and techniques we have achieved over the years are the results of working almost every day. Don't expect to achieve the same results instantly. However, it's important to remember that color quality depends on many parameters in natural dyeing. We offer practical and easily accessible materials and techniques, but there is still much to understand through experimentation. If you want to delve deeper into the subject and improve your results, you can research, experiment, and take the time to improve your skills.

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We're excited to work with you! Whether you're looking for a custom order or interested in collaborating with us, we're here to make it happen. Let's chat about your ideas and bring them to life. Reach out to us at, we can't wait to hear from you!

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