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How to Naturally Tie-Dye with Turmeric

Learn how to dye clothes with turmeric with the great tips in this article.

By: Gleeson Smith for
Updated April 22, 2021
How to Naturally Tie Dye with Turmeric
How to Naturally Tie Dye with Turmeric
This image courtesy of

Tie-dye is having a moment, and with Spring in full bloom it’s the perfect way to upcycle old t-shirts and add a pop of color to your wardrobe. For a sustainable and affordable option, try using natural tie-dye! You can make dye solutions out of food scraps, flowers, or spices from your kitchen. They will produce beautiful pastel colors and best of all there are no harsh chemicals involved, so it’s a great project to work on with your family.

You may have heard of the health benefits of turmeric, but did you know it’s also a natural tie-dye? Turmeric will give your tops a fresh yellow hue, and it’s an easy project you can tackle on a sunny afternoon. In fact, you likely have all the supplies in your home already. So grab an old t-shirt, and let’s get started!

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Materials List

  • A t-shirt made of 100% cotton or linen
  • 3 tablespoons of turmeric
  • 1.5 cups of distilled white vinegar
  • 8 cups of water
  • Large metal pot
  • Chopstick to stir


  1. Start by rinsing your shirt in warm water.

  2. In a large pot, stir in the water, vinegar, and turmeric, then bring to a boil.

    Note: click images for larger versions.

  3. Get creative with your design by experimenting with different rubber band placements on the shirt.

  4. Add your shirt to the mixture, ensuring that the fabric is submerged. Bring the heat down to a low simmer, and periodically stir for 1 hour.

  5. Turn off the heat completely and allow your shirt to seep in the dye for another hour.

  6. Rinse your shirt off till the water runs clear.

  7. Toss the shirt in the washer and dryer. If you decide to hang your items to dry, keep in mind that if it is left in direct sunlight, the yellow will fade a bit.

  8. Enjoy your beautifully dyed item!

It is as simple as that! You can save the turmeric solution in your fridge to upcycle other items in your home and give a second life to stained tea towels or socks. Enjoy your revamped pieces and happy Spring!

How to Naturally Tie Dye with Turmeric
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