Hammering: Natural Fabric Dye





Introduction: Hammering: Natural Fabric Dye

About: An engineer, seamstress, cook, coder, and overall maker. Spent a summer at Instructables; got a degree in E: Neural Engineering at Olin College; made a microcontroller (tessel.io); now thinking about climate...

This is a really cool fabric dyeing technique that I learned when I was younger.
It's surprisingly simple: all you need is a hammer, some fabric, a flat surface, and some plants.
Well, and something to fix the dye helps.

Step 1: Lay Out Boards

Step 2: Cover Boards

Paper towels are a good material for this. This will help protect your surface from plant colors.

Step 3: Place Fabric on Boards

Step 4: Lay Out Plants

Ferns and green things work best.

Step 5: Tape Down Plants


Step 6: Carefully Flip Over the Fabric

Step 7: Hammer!

Step 8: Iron

Step 9: Flip Right Side Up and Remove Plant Gunk

Step 10: Fix Dye

Soak it in a salt bath!
I'm not actually sure how effective this is.

Step 11: Ta-da!



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    Awesome - I have to try this. Did you ever wash the fabric to see if the color stayed after soaking it in salt water?

    1 reply

    I didn't wash this one, but several years ago I hammered a fern t-shirt for my dad, and it lasted several years with heavy use. I used more fixative processes on that one though- I remember at least a soda ash bath and hot dryer.

    This is crazy. I'm going to need to try this. :D

    This is awesome... hammers are such fun! ;-D

    Busy girl! Lovely projects. This is great with colorful flowers too!