FRIDAY FACETS – Compost Dyeing Part 1

The weather is finally a bit warmer, so I can switch from Snow Dyeing to Compost Dyeing.

Being a vegetarian, I have probably more vegetable scraps than most people, and I have found various ways to double-compost.

For this project, I have prepared a vintage linen table cloth – one of a set I purchased at a vide grenier in France a few years ago. It is a very large piece, and I was hesitant to dye it with another method because my dye pot is not big enough and I did not want to cut it up.


I laid it out on the ground and soaked it in a vinegar/water solution to prepare the fibers.


Then I arranged the vegetable scraps I had collected for a few days on one half of the cloth. It looks like I just dumped the bucket on there, but there is some order in that madness. You want a somewhat even distribution of dye material because each one will render a different color.


orange and lemon peels, onion skins, parsley stems, cabbage leaves, banana peels, egg shells, moldy strawberries (forgot them in the back of the fridge), sliced beets, coffee grounds, pomegranate skins, pieces of carrots and snowpeas, and some other odds and ends.

Now the fabric gets folded over length-wise, rolled up, and folded again the other way to form a tight package.


I tied it with rubber bands to keep everything together.



The bundle gets buried in my compost pile


On the left side, you can already see a red patch forming from strawberries (they stain very quickly).

Now it gets covered with soil and has to ‘incubate’ for at least 3 months.

This is the most difficult part for me, since patience is not one of my virtues. But the wait will be well worth it!

The stick works as a marker so we don’t dig the bundle up by accident.

Check back in July for the big reveal!


You can find more Friday Facets here!