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Silk Charmeuse dyed Caramel & Deep Gold

I had a great weekend this week. I finished stitching some more shibori designs onto scarves to be dyed. I dyed this silk charmeuse scarf that is 15" X 60 " (38.1 cm X 152.4 cm) using a combination of red and yellow onion skins in approximately the same proportions.  I was hoping to be able to achieve this rich caramel and deep butterscotch colors. I am very happy with it! It's destined to be a gift this week - so I hope my friend will also like it. I used both white vinegar and alum as mordants for the scarf and used approximately the same amount of red and yellow; heated them in an old crock pot set on low over night to extract the dye. 

Initially, when I first unwrapped the scarf I found some areas that I had wound too vigorously so I retied some areas and over dyed some of the whiter areas. Eureka! It worked ! Now I am asking anyone that can spare their onion skins to save them for me. If you are able to and care to - I will gladly pay for postage.

I am enthralled at how rich the colors came out - almost like a burnt creme brulee and the other area looks like deep golden butterscotch. I can't wait to make some more of these. Meanwhile I have 6 scarves tied and wrapped and ready to get dyed. I can't tell you how soft this scarf is too. Yummmm

For those of you have an interest I would like to recommend an excellent site for information about natural dyeing. The site mom is Kimberely Baxter Packwood. She also has a personal site of her art work. She been a natural dyeing maven for many, many years and knows whereof she speaks!. It's :  I have already found lots of useful information and friendly responses on the site.


  1. dyeing must be really a very exhilarating art; you never know what the end result will be! And all the experimentation is wonderful. At least I would never think to use onion skins!
    Still love that shawl. Just beautiful!

  2. wow, that is a beautiful color. I am interested in trying more natural dyes. I had no idea onion skins were so amazing.

  3. You got a lovely result! I really love that butterscotch color.

  4. Gorgeous, Beautiful, Amazing!!! What a wonderful gift. I have been slowly gathering onion skins. Our grocer doesn't save them, but if there are any in the box, he told me to help myself. Living so close to Walla Walla, you would think I'd be awash in onions!


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