Whether you want to change the color of a garment to orange or you just want to brighten a piece of orange clothing, you can achieve the task at home easily with dye you make yourself. Using some basic household items, you can mix up a batch of orange dye in just a few minutes. In addition to the inexpensive convenience of homemade dye, you'll also have a mixture that is safe for your family and for the environment.
Select natural items for your homemade orange dye, such as turmeric, sassafras, bloodroot, carrot roots, lilac twigs, barberry, pomegranate, butternut seeds and husks, or giant coreopsis. Put on rubber gloves to prevent your skin from getting stained as you make and use the dye.
Chop the dye elements into fine pieces.
Add 3 cups of the chopped items and 6 cups of water to a large stock pot. These proportions are suitable for dying a shirt or another item of similar size.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer it for one hour.
Strain all solids from the pot and leave the liquid to simmer for one hour.
Soak your garment in a homemade color fixative before you put it in the dye pot. Mix a 1/2 cup of salt with 8 cups of water as a fixative for orange dyes made with berries. Use 1 cup of vinegar and 4 cups of water as a fixative for dyes made of plant matter or spices. Soak the items in the appropriate fixative for one hour.
Remove the clothing from the fixative and wring out all excess water. Rinse it in cold water, then wring it out again.
Put the garment in the pot of orange dye and let it simmer for one hour. Check the item periodically until it has reached your desired shade of orange, then remove it from the pot. The color will be slightly darker when it dries, however, if you want an extremely dark shade, leave the garment in the dye overnight.
For large items, double the ingredients both for the fixative and for the dye solution.