Granny Trude From Curtains to Easter Eggs: Trude's Going Crazy with Colour!

Granny Trude brings colour into her house: Today she’ll show you how to colour your curtains and pillowcases with natural materials!

Trude's Going Crazy with Colour! Illustration (Detail): Celine Buldun
My dears, the grey monotony is finally over: Winter has slunk away and the sun – here in Hollenbach too – is unfolding all its power! You know my apartment: I love having it cheerful and colourful all year round! Avocados have become a staple food for young people. Walnuts deliver even more healthy unsaturated fatty acids than avocados and don't have to travel halfway around the world. But if you indulge yourself with a tasty guacamole, you can turn the avocado's shells and seeds into a wonderful dye for cotton fabrics or natural wool. The fabrics don't turn green or brown, but wonderfully light to antique pink.
 
  • Wash the shells and the pit thoroughly
  • Cut them up into little pieces
  • Let them simmer in a large pot with water for about an hour, until a broth has formed
  • Cover your T-shirts, curtains or pillowcases completely in a tub with the liquid and stir them once an hour.
  • Now rinse the fabric in cold water once and then launder it in the washing machine at 30 degrees. Done! This method works particularly well with cotton fabrics and natural wool.
I hope I’ve been able to inspire you to give colouring a try. Do you have any other natural dyeing methods? If so, please leave me a comment!

Colorful Easter

For me it can't get colourful enough in spring: Then not only will the flowers on my terrace shine in the most splendid colours, but my baskets for my dear grandchildren will also shine in time for Easter!

They especially like self-dyed Easter eggs – every year I surprise them with new and unusual colours. But watch out: I don't want to find factory products from the supermarket in my Easter basket. I prefer self-painted eggs without harmful additives, but rather with lots of love and creativity. Luckily, vegetables like spinach, spices like turmeric and fruits like blueberries make it easy to create beautiful colours. I'll show you how it works now!

Allow enough time for colouring the eggs, as the ingredients must boil in water to make a decoction. It’s important to clean the Easter eggs well and remove any soiling before you colour them.
 
  • Boil your respective dye material (for example 500 grams of chopped vegetables) for 30 to 45 minutes in one litre of water. Then filter your finished decoction. My tip: Add a little vinegar and the colours will really glow!
  • Now it's time to get serious: Pour the decoction into a smaller pot. Put the eggs in the liquid and let them boil for ten minutes. To get them evenly coloured, move them carefully back and forth with a spoon in the pot. And there you go, the eggs are hard and colourful!
  • You've quenched the eggs in cold water and the colours are still too pale for you? Put them back in your dye. By the way: You can dye both brown and white eggs, the results will be darker or lighter.
If you are wondering if your stainless steel pots will be damaged by the dyes: then avoid this and reach for an enamel pot!

The colour games can begin

If you want a blue Easter egg, simply take hibiscus blossoms, dried blueberries or elderberries. If you want the egg to be as yellow as its own yolk, take the onion skins or St. John's Wort and the egg come out bright yellow! If you prefer it orange, I recommend turmeric (about twenty grams of powder for one litre) and chopped carrots (in this case I’d boil the decoction for half an hour at a low heat before putting the eggs in it)!

For some purple in your Easter colour palette you can boil the eggs in red cabbage stock, beetroot is a good choice for a bright red colour (again - let the stock simmer a bit longer with up to four beets, about three quarters of an hour). With spinach (cook approx. 400 grams up to three quarters of an hour), parsley, nettles or simply grass cuttings, your Easter nest will shine in the most beautiful shades of green! With brown eggs, boil them for some time (a good quarter of an hour) in a broth of onion skins or - quite simply - in coffee or black tea (up to 50 grams in about two litres, half an hour).