Last Fall I put three yards of cotton into a kitty litter container of walnuts (see October 2012 post). Yesterday I removed the fabric from the vat of moldy and fermented walnuts (Figure A and B). The walnut smell is closer to “pickled” walnuts, than rotten walnuts (of course, this is subject to interpretation). After hosing down the fabric, I leave the fabric in full sun to dry (Figure C and D). When the fabric comes out of the vat it is a golden brown. After drying (and bleaching) in the sun, the color is closer to a gray brown shown in the October post. I machine-wash the fabric with a commercial detergent (All, Free and Clear) and then machine-dry the fabric. The fabric is now ready to use and does not lose its brown-gray color.
Don’t throw away the vat of walnuts. Prepare another 3-yards of fabric, add it to the walnut slurry and leave the bucket outside in the summer heat until fall. The fabric will be dyed a lighter walnut stain.