Saturday, 7 April 2012

Saturday Photo: The Results of the Natural Easter Egg Challenge

Mrs. Ikvilds' eggs are the best. I couldn't believe how lovely the mottled red colour was. She says she sometimes puts celery leaves on hers, so the dye doesn't enter the leaf-protected part. That sounds really nice, but even with my experimental attempt, I got a subtle flower pattern on one of the eggs, I guess because of the difference in the onion skins it was wrapped in.

Of the other natural dyes I tried, the most successful were the blue from red cabbage (1/4 chopped cabbage to 3 cups of water and a quarter cup of vinegar), the yellow from tumeric (three tablespoons in three cuts of waters and 4 tablespoons of vinegar, and the green (from a mixture of blue and yellow dyes which made a light green, and a yellow egg dipped in blue dye, making a darker green.)

According to one site, red onion skins were supposed to make green, but made red instead. Beets made a light pink, that wasn't as nice as the onion skin colours.

Two tricks: use hot dye or boil the eggs in the dyeing mixture, and leave them there for an hour or more. Don't skimp on the vinegar either: it is a dye fixative anyway, but it also softens the eggshells slightly and allows the dye to enter more easily. One strange thing: the blues got progressively darker as the eggs dried.

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