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Confederate meets counter-culture: tie-dye walnut dye

February 2nd, 2005 · 1 Comment


Last week, the girls and I made dye from walnuts as Confederate families did for war uniforms. With a hammer, I smashed three dozen shells into small pieces then boiled and steeped them in water for an afternoon. Before we used it as a dye, we strained the mixture and added a little vinegar. I couldn’t find shirts so we used small canvas bags instead. I showed the girls how to use rubber bands to make patterns, as with tie-dye. Confederate culture meets counter-culture, bridging a century of distance!


For contrast I included in the pot one square of a diaper, which is seen here photographed against the original.


Here is one dyed canvas bag against a plain one.


[recipe and idea from Janice Herbert’s The Civil War for Kids]

Tags: homeschool

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 brettdl // Feb 2, 2005 at 11:55 am

    How interesting. I understand you can get bright colors with blueberries, raspberries and blackberries, though I suppose you have to separate out the sugar somehow. Acorns apparently work, too.

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