Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Crock Pot Revisited, an unusual use

I have found a new use for my crock pot, as you can see from the pictures. I love to dye fabric but, I do not have space for an open fire and dyeing in the kitchen gave me problems with my allergies. So for weeks I have wandered around thinking what I could use to dye.

Recently I had my daughter and her family over for Sunday dinner. I dragged out the crock pot and made
a large batch of bolognese sauce. Unfortunately I was not happy with the results. I have had a love hate relationship with the crock pot. So after Sunday dinner, I decided to put my crock pot in the garage sale pile once and for all.

I'm not sure when it happened but a light bulb went off
and I decided to try the crock pot for dyeing. Why not? It has a long cooking time, I could use it in the garage and I did not have to worry about my allergies or a fire.

The process;

I filled up the crock pot with golden rod.
Added water and then the cotton fabric.
Add a good splash of vinegar to the water.
I added a rusty metal ring to weigh the fabric down.
Put the lid on and set the time for 8 hours.
After 8 hours I laid the fabric on the grass to dry.
When dry, I ran it through the dryer to set the color.
I then washed the fabric by hand and  hung it to dry.
And then pressed it again.

Couple of things, I over dyed some fabric I had so there
would be an interesting pattern underneath. When hanging to dry it will stain the floor. I will not be using the fabric for clothing as I am not sure if it will fade. The crock pot can not be used to cook in after using it for dyeing. If you don't want your hands dyed, wear rubber gloves.

If you would like to research natural dyeing I would recommend the master dyer, India Flint. She has some marvelous books on the subject.

Have fun and experiment!


  1. That is so beautiful, Susan! The pattern in the material subtly coming through, the additional richness of the rust stain, and the random beauty of patterns throughout is an inspiration for me to start dying again!

    1. Thank you Dawn! What isn't showing is the beautiful shades of green. I took pictures inside and out trying to get the variety of colors to show.

  2. beautiful results and great use for the crock pot.

  3. its ok if it fades, just dye it again. i learned that from india. and you might be surprised. very few of my dyed cloths have faded that much.

  4. Beautiful results. I love the attitude of experimentation ! When my friend Kathy & I used goldenrod for dying we used Alum for the mordant, which resulted in a lovely golden yellow. Your vinegar & metal has given completely different results. That's very cool!
    I've had my wool quilt on my bed for 15 years now, with all natural dyes, & it has faded a bit, but is still beautiful. We also experimented on cotton, & it fades even faster than the wool, but I still love them all.

  5. Thank you for visiting and for the information. I have alum, a large bag and will try that too. I do love to experiment!! Mad scientist at work! lol

  6. How did you know to use those things in the crockpot? It's really cool how the fabric came out! How about making a fiber collage art piece with it?

  7. I know have been experimenting with dyeing for years. Thing is I wanted to make it easier on myself so I decided to try the crock pot and it worked! I do plan on making an art quilt out of it. I also dyed a silk scarf and it came out beautiful too. I will be wearing that, lol


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