New to forums, dying fabric with henna

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CharlotteVale
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Joined: 2010-11-06 20:23
New to forums, dying fabric with henna

Hello all!  I'm new to the forum, though i've been following the henna page for years.  I have a question regarding dying fabric with henna.  I do historical costuming, and I have some wool that I want to dye.  Unfortunatly, I've been unable to find the right color, which just so happens to be the lovely deep and rich reddish-brown of henna.  I've read some insrtuctions on dying fabric with 'henna extract', but have been unable to find exactly what that is, or where to get it..

Does anyone know how I should go about dying fabric without just painting it on?  Or where i could find this elusive 'henn extract'? 

Any help, advice, or even just brainstorming would be very helpful.  Thank you!

CCartwrightJones
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Joined: 2010-04-27 18:23
Re: New to forums, dying fabric with henna

There are a couple of historical dye books that outline dyeing wool with henna, the usual slow hot bath sort of way.  Use a high dye content pure henna.  An acidic mix in the dye pot will help.  Do a few tests first to see how much henna per water you find suitable.  More concentrated henna = darker reddish brown. Less henna and more boiling water = more orange.

This will work for wool and sillk, less so for cotton.

Henna is really far better for applying to fabric with a cone ... apply figurative patterns, allow to dry, then iron from the back side to set the dye.   Scrape off the henna and rinse out the cloth.

I like the results from a tie-dye with henna in a hot bath, then doing a secondary tie and overdyeing with indigo.  Henna + indigo = black.  With extreme cleverness, you can have orange, brown, blue and black on one textile just with henna and indigo.

 

 

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