Home & Garden,  Living Simply,  Recycling,  Upcycling

DIY: Natural Fabric Dye

Imagine transforming a dull duvet cover with something you might already have on hand. And even if you don’t have this on hand, you can find it in the spice aisle at your local grocery store for less than $3. I am talking about Turmeric! Turmeric is one of the latest health food trends but did you know it also is a natural fabric dye?

It is no secret that my favorite colors are a bright and cheery orange and mustard yellow. Don’t believe me? Check out these Juicy Orange No-Sew Outdoor Cushion Covers.

Recently, I was looking for a way for a give my dull duvet a pop of color. I read that turmeric can transform any 100% natural fiber – think cotton, silk or wool – from a light sunny yellow all the way to a burnt orange depending how long you let the fabric soak. Mind blown.

Honestly, the one thing I did wonder about was whether turmeric had a strong aroma. If this spice was aromatic as I had feared, this technique would definitely not work in my household of odorphobes. I figured for $2.49 it was worth the shot though. I was quite surprised that it did not have a truly strong scent. It smells like burned toast to me. Burned toast smell is an everyday smell around here so tally-ho.

These instructions are what I did for my twin size 100% cotton duvet cover. It was a fun experiment with a rewarding outcome!


  • Clean twin size 100% cotton duvet cover – free of fabric softener
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup of ground turmeric powder
  • 2 large stock pots (I only had one so I improvised)
  • 16 cups of water x 2
  • Rubber gloves
  • Wooden spoon (it will get stained)
DIY natural fabric dye with turmeric


  1. Prepare the fabric (it helps to hold the dye): Fill large stock pot with 16 cups of water and 1 cup of vinegar and bring to a boil.
  2. Turn the heat down so the water is simmering.
  3. Being very careful and wearing rubber gloves, slowly submerge the duvet into the water using the wooden spoon.
  4. Let the duvet soak in the vinegar and water solution for 45 minutes.
  5. Dump the water and duvet into a clean sink and let it sit to cool while you prepare the dye bath.
  6. Fill the large stock pot with 16 more cups of water and bring to a boil.
  7. Add 1/3 cup of turmeric powder and stir.
  8. Let the turmeric powder and water simmer for 45 minutes.
  9. Add the duvet covet to the turmeric powder and water mixture and let it simmer for 45 more minutes.
  10. Stir and adjust the duvet for full color coverage.
  11. Check the color every 10 minutes or so until the duvet is the desired shade
  12. Once you are satisfied, dump the water and duvet in a clean sink and run cool water over it until the water runs clear
  13. Next, I chose to wash my duvet in the washing machine to remove any lingering burnt toast smell :).
  14. After a toss in the drier, it was just what I had hoped for!
DIY natural fabric dye with turmeric

I was probably overzealous to try to fit a duvet cover in a pot and expect it to dye evenly but I really like the result even with the few splotchy areas. Very boho I say!

This technique is so addicting and has got me wanting to dye everything my favorite home decor color!

DIY natural fabric dye with turmeric

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