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How to Dye Seagrass

Seagrass is a natural grass used in making baskets, rugs, hats and accessories. The natural colour of seagrass takes on a green to brownish hue. There are occasions when the natural colour is not desired. Basket making is one such occasion. Seagrass is dyed using common items such as fabric dye, Kool-Aid, tea or coffee. Natural dyes from plants and insects also dye seagrass with great success. Dye seagrass at home in a boiling fabric dye using either a range top or a hotplate.

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  1. Follow the directions on the fabric dye and mix the appropriate amount of water with the dye in a large canner or large stock pot.

  2. Place the mixture on a range top and bring it to a boil. Stir occasionally.

  3. Carefully place the seagrass into the boiling dye mixture. Stir the seagrass into the dye so it is entirely covered.

  4. Boil the seagrass for 30 minutes at a low boil. Stir every five minutes.

  5. Turn off the heat to the mixture. Allow the mixture to cool for 30 minutes.

  6. Turn on the cold water. Put the strainer in the drain. Carefully pour the mixture into the sink, making sure to keep the seagrass in the pot. Place the pot on the counter.

  7. Pour 1 cup of plain salt into a 2-cup measuring cup. Fill the remainder of the measuring cup with hot water. Stir the mixture until the salt has dissolved.

  8. Pour the salt mixture over the dyed seagrass. Add cold water to the pot until the seagrass is covered. Stir the seagrass in the salt mixture. Allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes. Note: This process sets the colour into the seagrass so it will not bleed.

  9. Turn on the cold water. Pour the salt mixture down the drain. Hang the seagrass to dry.

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Things You'll Need

  • Fabric dye
  • Water
  • Large canner or large stock pot
  • Hob
  • Wooden spoon or stirring stick
  • 2-cup measuring cup
  • Plain salt

About the Author

Kim Blakesley

Kim Blakesley is a home remodeling business owner, former art/business teacher and school principal. She began her writing and photography career in 2008. Blakesley's education, fine arts, remodeling, green living, and arts and crafts articles have appeared on numerous websites, including DeWalt Tools, as well as in "Farm Journal" and "Pro Farmer."

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