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.

Teacher Notes

Teachers! Did you use this instructable in your classroom?
Add a Teacher Note to share how you incorporated it into your lesson.

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!

Be the First to Share


    • Book Character Costume Challenge

      Book Character Costume Challenge
    • Made with Math Contest

      Made with Math Contest
    • Cardboard Speed Challenge

      Cardboard Speed Challenge

    6 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    7 years ago on Introduction

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