Dyeing with Onion Skins

I take my skins cover with water bring to a simmer for about 15 minutes and then allow to sit overnight. Next day I bring to a simmer and let simmer for about an hour before adding my fabrics, fibers, etc. I allow the fibers to simmer for an hour, shut off the heat and allow the dyebath and fabric to sit overnight. This has yeilded me the best color to date that has been quite lightfast.

Dyeing With Onion Skins

Fall is an excellent time to dye with onion skins as Onions are being harvested now!

Materials List:
Onion Skins
Stainless Steel Pot
Heat Source
You will need to mordant your wool with Alum first to ensure that your color is permanent.

Onion Skin Dye Bath

  • Take onion skins and place in stainless steel pot, make sure this is a studio dedicated pot, and cover with hot or boiling water.
  • Allow to sit overnight.

  • The next day bring dye pot to a simmer and leave for one hour.

  • Remove onion skins if desired - leaving them will create a mottled yarn or fabric.

  • Place wet rinsed mordanted wool into dye bath and simmer for two hours.

  • If using the cold dyeing method leave wool overnight in the dye bath.

  • Remove wool from dye bath, rinse snd dry

  • NOTE: wool may have a slight onion smell this is normal with natural dyed goods.

Your wool is now ready to use!