This Easter, I bought some artificial dyes for my daughter to make her brightly colored eggs, but I also saved off 8 eggs to play with natural dyes. Last year, we went to the area nature center and dyed eggs in many different home ingredients (coffee, red cabbage, onion skins, etc.) - I was surprised at how much color we were able to get.
This year, I did it at home. Instead of boiling the eggs beforehand, I boiled each batch along with their color - 1 minute of boiling, 20 minutes simmering (at least, that was the idea).
I tried 4 different ingredients (I thought of using avocado skins as a 5th kind, but by the time I finished the 4th batch I was ready to clean up the kitchen and be done with dying eggs for the year).
I really liked how the eggs turned out (even though my daughter and husband swear the red cabbage eggs look white, not periwinkle blue!)
From left to right: yellow onion skin, red cabbage, tea overlaid with red cabbage, and instant coffee
I liked the yellow onion skin dye so much, I strained out the dyebath and I'm going to dye an ounce of wool with it tomorrow morning (the wool is soaking in its alum bath right now). I hope it works out well! Haven't checked the dyebath pH yet, I plan to do that before I put the wool in. I really was surprised at how orangey the yellow onion bath turned out, I thought the quercitron was a purer yellow. I looked in my dyebooks again and I guess it says it's a "clear" color, not that it's a lemon yellow color. One book does describe it as an orange-yellow, so I guess I read too fast. I still had never imagined the beautiful copper-penny yellow it turned the eggs. I wonder if the calcium in the eggshells raised the dyebath pH? Guess I'll find out soon.
The yellow onion skin batch was also the final batch that I did; and although I thought 1) that I'd turned down the heat once it was boiling and 2) I'd turned off the heat at the 20-minute mark... it turns out neither was true. So I actually boiled the eggs and onion-skin dyebath for at least 40 minutes. Not sure the eggs will be edible... but they're certainly a nice bold color!!