Natural Tie-Dye DIY With Turmeric

by Janel
7 Materials
30 Minutes

Believe it or not, turmeric is a very potent natural dye that will leave a bright, vibrant yellow color. Today I’m going to be using turmeric to tie-dye a pillowcase and a sweatshirt, both of which are made of a solid white cotton fabric, which is the type of fabric that will pick up the color best.

Tools and materials:

  • White cotton pillowcase
  • White cotton sweatshirt
  • Rubber bands
  • Large pot of water
  • Turmeric
  • Large bucket
  • Running water
Make accordion folds

Fold/twist the fabric and wrap it with elastics

For the pillowcase, I folded it in evenly-spaced accordion folds.


Wrap elastic around the folds

Then I wrapped a few elastics around the length of it.

Make random folds and twists

For the sweatshirt, I simply scrunched and twisted it at random, and secured it with elastics all over. Make sure your elastics are tight to prevent the dye from getting too deeply into the folds.


Tie-dye with natural dyes

Boil a pot of water with turmeric

Next, I put a large pot of water up to boil with four to five tablespoons of turmeric mixed in.


Wet the fabric

Dampen the fabric

While the turmeric water was boiling, I ran my twisted, folded fabrics under cold water until they were soaked through.

Use a bucket

Then I placed them in a bucket.

Natural tie-dye colors

Pour the dye over the fabric

Once the water was boiling, I poured all of it over my dampened sweatshirt and pillowcase, in the bucket.

Let the fabrics soak in the dye

I let it soak for about ten minutes before draining the dye. If you want a deeper color, you can leave it soaking for longer. 

Turmeric tie-dye


I rinsed the pillowcase and sweatshirt under cold water until the water was running clear.

DIY natural tie-dye

Lay flat to dry

I laid out my tie-dyed items to dry completely. Once they were dry, they were ready for use.

Completed pillowcase

Natural tie-dye shirts

I love how these came out! The sweatshirt is so cozy, and perfect for a cool summer night around a campfire. And the pillowcase can be used to spice up a porch swing or other garden furniture. You can use this technique for anything made of white cotton, including cloth napkins, placemats, or home decor. 

I would love to know which tie-dye result you like better--the sweatshirt or the pillowcase.

Suggested materials:
  • White cotton pillowcase
  • White cotton sweatshirt
  • Rubber bands
See all materials

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Join the conversation
2 of 14 comments
  • Tonie Boudreaux Tonie Boudreaux on May 28, 2021

    I loved the pillowcase!

  • Nwow Nwow on Aug 22, 2021

    Fantastic! Going to do this tomorrow with a boys white undershirt. You can use boys or men's white beaters!!!(that's what my son calls them) if you're small enough you can use boys XLrg!♡