The contents vary according to the types of dyeing I’m doing, but for my most recent round of natural dyeing it consists of a medium sized Rubbermaid tote which contains:

  1. Natural dyestuff,
  2. Liquid one cup measuring cup,
  3. Measuring spoons for measuring powders,
  4. Mordants to set the dyes,
  5. Washing soda (a.k.a. soda ash or sodium carbonate),
  6. Small/medium/large syringes without needles for applying dye solution to fabric,
  7. Wooden spoon for stirring cloth in my dye vat,
  8. An enamel pot for mordanting and dyeing,
  9. A kitchen weigh scale,
  10. Non-latex gloves,
  11. Labels,
  12. Permanent markers,
  13. Masks,
  14. Metal casserole pans for spot dyeing,
  15. Tin foil to line the casserole pans,
  16. An old dish rag or dish towel to wipe up spills,
  17. Dye samples for the workshop,
  18. Fibre to dye,
  19. Scissors for snipping and tearing fabric,
  20. Bib apron
  21. Synthrapol or mild dish detergent to soak the fibre in to prepare it for dyeing,
  22. Tongs,
  23. A strainer to separate natural dye material from the dye solution,
  24. pH strips to test water,
  25. A small sample finished project,
  26. A one litre spray bottle, and
  27. Any items particular to my specific dye workshop.

I take dye records and formulas in a binder separately from the dye kitchen. No room in the tote by the time I’ve gathered all that! I also take my reference books, if any, separately.

I just bought a metal pot too big for the Rubbermaid tote to use to scour, or clean, my fibre before dyeing it. Normally I wouldn’t take that to a workshop. I’d scour my fabric at home beforehand. But this time I’m teaching my niece how to scour cotton and silk, so it’s going with us. We will be doing some rust dyeing as well, so I have rusty metal in my dye kit.

And that’s it. That’s what’s in my portable dye kitchen. Do you have a portable dye kitchen? What is in yours?

All ready to go!
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