NATURE’S COLORS Easter Egg Case Study
Using India Tree Nature’s Colors Decorating Set to Color Eggs
By Colleen Carroll, India Tree’s Color Specialist
If you enjoy coloring eggs, you may be interested in my experience dyeing eggs with India Tree’s Decorating Set. Natural colors work differently than the artificial dyes that most people are familiar with, but it is possible to achieve beautiful results and you may feel safe in the knowledge that no artificial dyes will seep into your eggs.
I bought Non GMO white eggs from my local market to color with the Non GMO Project Verified Nature’s Colors Decorating Set, which uses natural ingredients for colorants, such as beets, turmeric, and spirulina. The set was developed for tinting icing and frosting, but it can be used for coloring eggs.
The dyeing process requires more time, when it comes to eggs, and the resulting colors are softer, more natural looking, and in some cases not at all what you might expect. Vinegar plays an important role in the egg coloring process. Increasing the amount of vinegar used may also lead to beautiful and interesting patterns which may emerge on the shell as it stains or as a surprise sometimes after the egg has cooled in the refrigerator.
While the results are not as bright and instantly gratifying as the old artificial packet egg decorating methods, it is really easy to set up dye baths with the natural colors and leave your eggs to soak for an hour or two. The results are worth the wait. I am especially excited about the effects of adding vinegar to both the boil and the soak.Vinegar works as a binding agent between the decorating color and the eggshell. If you don’t use any vinegar at all, even after a 90 minute soak, the eggs will only be lightly colored.
For deeper saturation, vinegar should be used in the soak. Adding it to the boiling process will provide a wider range of results. While the results are not exactly controllable, I was delightfully surprised by the tie-dye and fractal-like results that came from adding 2 Tbs of vinegar per quart of water in the boiling stage, along with 1-2 tsp of vinegar per 1 cup of hot water and about 20 drops of color from the Nature’s Colors Decorating Set in the soaking stage.
If you want your eggs to be a more solid color, you should not add vinegar to the boiling water, but you should add about 1 tsp per 1 cup hot water and roughly 20 drops of color to the soaking water. You may be able to achieve a sort of green (blue + yellow) or orange (red + yellow). I didn’t achieve a traditional purple, but I did see some interesting results which were similar to the eggs boiled in vinegar.
- Boil eggs: 1 inch of water coverage.
OPTIONAL: Add 2 Tbs of vinegar per 1 quart of water.
- Soak eggs: Set up color baths with a ratio of 1 cup hot water, 1 tsp vinegar, and 20 drops of color.
- Soak eggs for 1-2 hours rolling gently, infrequently.