Journal of Chemical Education 2022, DOI: 10.1021 / acs.jchemed.2c00086 “width =” 800 “height =” 530 “/>

Cotton fabric with a tie with solutions of acorns and rust makes it brown, orange, blue and black. Credit: Adapted from Journal of Chemical Education 2022, DOI: 10.1021 / acs.jchemed.2c00086

Dyeing a tie is a fun activity that can decorate clothes with colorful patterns. Although the kits are available in stores, nature provides dyes that can be obtained from items found in the yard – such as acorns and rust. In the ACS Journal of Chemical Education, researchers present a “green” cotton dyeing process with renewable resources and waste that undergraduate students can easily do under minimal supervision. Activities link science, art and sustainability.

For millennia, naturally occurring materials have been used as dyes and pickles, which are substances that help attach compounds to fibers. And brown tannins from acorns can bind to an iron mordant of orange color, creating dark blue or almost black color on fabrics.

So Julian Silverman and his colleagues wanted to show how it is natural dyes can be used when dyeing ties to make images of white, brown, orange and bluish-black colors on cotton napkins. The resulting samples depended on how the napkins were wrapped in rubber bands and in what order they were soaked in a bath of acorn dye and dipped in a solution of rust and vinegar. Although all dye solutions are safely poured down the drain, researchers say gloves, lab coats and goggles will keep dyes from stains on skin or other clothing.

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Additional information:
Christian Machado et al., Tie Dyeing with Fodder Acorns and Rust: A Workshop Combining Green Chemistry and Environmental Science, Journal of Chemical Education (2022). DOI: 10.1021 / acs.jchemed.2c00086

Citation: How to tie-dye cotton with acorns and rust (2022, May 26) obtained on May 26, 2022 from

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