How to Care For Natural Dyes
Curating a sustainable and intentional wardrobe is a beautiful thing. Maintaining and upkeeping your sustainable and intentional wardrobe is very important for the longevity of your items, for the planet and for people. Which is also true for naturally-dyed items. When we take the extra step to care for our items, we ensure longevity and quality. So, let’s get to it. How to care for your naturally-dyed items and how to make them last.
I recently published a reel on Instagram that shows some simple steps on how to hand-wash your naturally-dyed face mask. I’ve linked it here. In this journal post, I’ll detail a bit more why it’s important to care for your naturally-dyed items properly and all of the steps and considerations.
Step 1: How to Wash
You’ll need room temperature or cold water. Two buckets, each filled with water. pH neutral, natural soap - I’d recommend Dr. Bronner’s, specifically their unscented liquid soap. Your naturally-dyed item. In the first bucket, you’ll put in your natural and neutral soap, the second bucket will be used as a rinse.
Get your item wet and thoroughly swish it around, sud it up with soap. Please please please use unscented, pH neutral/natural soap. This is incredibly important - I can’t stress it enough. Past environmental reasons, using generic soaps that are scented alters the quality and color of your naturally-dyed items. You’ll start to see the water color change to maybe a more brown color. That’s all of the pollution and dirt that accumulates on your items. If you’re washing a face mask or item that you wear regularly, I’d encourage you to wash those more frequently, maybe up to once a week.
Once you’ve finished cleaning your item in the first bucket, expel all of the extra soap water before placing your item in the second bucket. Once you’ve placed your item in the second bucket, go ahead and squish it around, scrunch it and get out all of the extra soap for one last rinse. When you’re done, wrench out the extra water from your item.
Step 2: How to dry
This part is equally as important. Naturally-dyed items, and items in general stay in better condition and last longer if they are air-dried, meaning on a line or drying rack, IN THE SHADE. Dryers will wear down your items and clothes and the heat can and will, overtime, exhaust the colors of your items. This is also true for elastics. If you have items that have elastic or stretch due to non-natural fibers, putting them through a dryer will break down the elastic and eventually break. If you can, hang your naturally-dyed items to dry in the shade on a line or rack. This will help preserve them as best as possible and extend their life.
Step 3: How to Iron
If you’re needing to iron your item, try to do so on a low heat setting on your iron on an ironing board.
Step 4: Where to Store Your Naturally-Dyed Items
This one is not always possible or may seem kind of funny, but it goes along with the idea that naturally-dyed items can be affected by heat and sun exposure over time. Some natural dyes are more sensitive to heat, such as Turmeric, while others are more colorfast. I would recommend storing your items out of direct sunlight when not in use, in a box, in your closet, etc.
Step 5: Wear and Repeat!
And lastly, wear your items over and over and over. Invest in pieces that will stand the test of time, in quality and style if you can. Caring for your items properly and mindfully is a great way to extend their life time, especially for naturally-dyed pieces. Maison Miel is all about investing in quality and beautiful pieces that better our planet and people. You can check out what’s available in the shop here.
I hope this post has been helpful in giving you insight. Always love connecting with you and if you have any questions, please feel free to reach out through my contact form here, or through Instagram message at this account here. Take care & stay safe!