Name Onion skins
Scientific Name: Allium Cepa L
Onion is a bulbous plant grown for its use in food, they are used all over the world. As the onions become fully grown, the foliage dies back, and the outer layers of the bulbs turn crispy and papery. It is these leaves which are used to create yellow and orange/brown shades, and soft olive greens with the addition of iron. Onion is one of the easiest dyestuffs to use as it does not require a mordant and can safely be used in your kitchen.
How our onion skin is produced:
We offer onion skin as a product you can buy, as we understand that not everyone eats onions! Our onion skins come from onions grown locally, the farmers and market holders separate the outer layers for us, we check they are thoroughly dry and clean and package them here at themazi for you.
Historical use of onions:
Onions have been cultivated for at least 7000 years for their culinary use and as medicine for ailments such as toothache and mouth ulcers. Onion skin has been used as a colouring for cloth for hundreds of years in the Middle East and is used in many cultures to colour and decorate eggs for religious and cultural festivals.
Ensure your fiber/fabric has been properly scoured before use.
You can read our blog on scouring and mordanting.
Use two good handfuls of onion skins to make a dyebath. If you want to be scientific about it, approximately 30g of onion skins will give strong colour on 100g of fiber. Place the skins into a pan and cover with water, enough to ensure your fabric/fiber can be moved around easily for even uptake of the dye. Bring the dyebath to the boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the skins if you wish. Add your wet/damp fibers and simmer the dyebath a further half hour. Allow the dyebath to cool for several hours or overnight, stirring occasionally.
A second and subsequent use of the dyebath can be made, which will result in paler shades than the first dyebath. Simply reheat the bath and add more fibers/fabrics.
For soft olive green colours, dyed fibers can be dipped briefly into an iron solution. Rinse fibers thoroughly after the iron dip. You can make the iron solution from iron sulphate or from rusty metal which you have soaked in 50:50 water for a week or so.
You can watch our friend Billynou dying with onion skins. BillyNou’s channel is about the wonderful process of natural dyeing she does for her brand, life, motherhood and the trails and errors of making and crafting. She likes to inspire others to become more conscientious, to find a connection with nature and benefit from this immense and totally accessible energy.
How do we ship your order?
We ship our products worldwide. Once you enter your address, you can see the shipping cost to your country. We ship with express delivery which means we use TNT, UPS, or DHL carriers.
Please keep in mind that the shipping cost is calculated on the basis of weight including packaging, so it may be beneficial to order more than one product at a time. You will pay the same shipping fee for 400g of products as for 100g.
Buying onion skin in bulk:
We sell onion skin in small quantities as shown on our website. Please be aware that we also sell bulk quantities wholesale. We consider every order over 50kg as wholesale and we offer discounted prices. To enquire about this, click here