Home & Garden

Salt-Dyed Napkins

Salt-Dyed Napkins

Author: Canadian Living

Home & Garden

Salt-Dyed Napkins

Dramatic and unique, these napkins are the perfect accessories for a bold table setting. Select a single colour or fabric paint or combine tones to complement your dishes, place mats, and tableware. Create two sets of coordinating napkins for a personalized gift, or make colour-themed sets for your own seasonal table décor. Rock salt pulls away the paint pigment, resulting in the mottled, shaded effect. Silk fabric paint has a thinner consistency than craft fabric paints, so it responds well to the salting technique.


• 1 yard (.9 m) 100% cotton muslin
• spray water bottle
• silk fabric paints
• freezer paper
• rock salt
• sewing machine
• general craft supplies

Makes four napkins.

To make:

1. Prewash and dry fabric to remove sizing. Cut into four 17" (43 cm) squares.

2. Mist fabric squares until thoroughly damp. Place on a sheet of freezer paper. With a foam brush, paint napkins with fabric dyes. Paint in large patterns; colors will seep slightly into each other. Sprinkle a handful of rock salt on each piece of fabric, randomly or in patterns. Let dry thoroughly. Remove salt and wash napkins in cold water. Dry and iron.

3. Pull warp and weft threads on napkin edges to fray. Machine-stitch 1/4" (.5 cm) from frayed edges.

Use the dyed fabric to create a coordinating table runner or pillows. After fabric has dried, rubber stamp with acrylic fabric paint

Dye all napkins in a set at the same time to ensure consistent results.

Excerpted from Decorative Crafts Sourcebook: Recipes and Projects for Paper, Fabric, and More (Thunder Bay Press, 2001)


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Salt-Dyed Napkins