DIY Crafts

Published on April 23rd, 2014 | by Becky Striepe


DIY Turmeric Dye for Fabric (+ washing instructions!)

How to Make Turmeric Dye for Fabric

You know that turmeric has a ton of health benefits, but did you know that this spice is great for dyeing fabric? Here’s how to make turmeric dye and how to care for your dyed fabric.

Many of the foods that you associate with stains can be made into fabric dye, and turmeric is not one of the exceptions. Turmeric dye yields a cheery yellow color that fades some with washing but sticks pretty well with the right type of care.

Caring for Turmeric Dyed-Fabric

The first key to caring for naturally dyed fabrics is to manage your expectations. Turmeric dye is going to fade from that initial almost neon yellow. Here’s what to expect when you wash your dyed fabric:

Washing Fabric with Turmeric Dye

As you can see, the fading after that first wash is dramatic, but after that it doesn’t fade much at all.

Since this process doesn’t use harsh chemical dyes or fixatives, you are definitely going to see some fading over time, and that’s OK! The turmeric-dyed fabric that I have made tends to fade for the first three washes and then settle in to a sunny yellow.

Your best bet is to wash your turmeric-dyed fabric in cold water. It’s fine to toss it into the dryer, as long as the fabric itself can hold up to the dryer. That’s really it! Cold washes, and you’re good to go.

How to Make Turmeric Dye for Fabric

The dye process is actually super simple.


  • water and salt(use 1 tablespoon salt per cup of water)
  • fabric that you want to dye
  • pot large enough for your fabric (this will dictate how much water/salt/turmeric you need)
  • water and turmeric (use 1 tablespoon turmeric per cup of water)
  • white vinegar
  • large bowl


1. Simmer your fabric in the water/salt mixture for about an hour. Remove from the heat, then drain and rinse your fabric.

2. Simmer your fabric in the same pot again, this time with the water/turmeric mixture, for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat but don’t drain. Let your fabric steep in the turmeric mixture for up to 15 minutes.

3. Rinse the fabric under running water, then transfer to your bowl and cover in the vinegar for a quick rinse.

4. Rinse again with water, then hang your fabric to dry.

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .

2 Responses to DIY Turmeric Dye for Fabric (+ washing instructions!)

  1. April says:

    Hi Becky – you’ve given different instructions on your ‘how to die with tumeric’ pages. On one you out the fabric in for 15 mins with the heat on and then place in vinegar. in the other you simmer the tumeric and water without the fabric and no vinegar.

    Is there a reason why you used different techniques?

  2. musaabsmumbles says:

    hey can you wash it with other clothes or will it leak out?

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