Determination. That’s what this is all about. I’ve seen the photos of beautiful, red Pascha eggs dyed using onion skins and I wanted to learn how to do it myself. The first two times were my fault. The third time, I have no idea where I went wrong since I followed the directions precisely. The fourth time…much better.
For all of those who have never dyed eggs using onion skins or have gotten less than desirable results in the past (like myself), this is what I’ve learned:
- If you know someone that can make beautifully dyed red Pascha eggs using onion skins, then ask them if you can watch them make a batch!!!! Take notes. It will probably save you a lot of trial and error.
- Keep in mind: There’s always going to be variations between batches and colors when using natural dyes. I’ve dyed many things in the past using a variety of natural dyes but I’ve never attempted to achieve a specific color before. It’s harder than it may seem given the nature of the dyeing method. People fought over the secrets of achieving the deep red I’ve attempted to get for my eggs. ”A Perfect Red” by Amy Butler Greenfield is a fascinating book on the topic.
- Brown eggs are going to give you a deeper red and will show less flaws than white eggs
- Steep your onion skins per the directions BEFORE attempting to dye your eggs!!!
2nd attempt to dye eggs using onion skins
3rd attempt to dye eggs using onion skins
4th attempt to dye eggs using onion skins
This is how I dyed the eggs in my 4th attempt:
- Peel the skins from 12 large, yellow onions and place in a pot
- Pour 5 cups water over the onion skins
- Pour 2 tbs white vinegar into the pot
- Bring to a boil
- Cover and simmer for 30 minutes
- Turn off stove and remove pot from burner. Leave covered and steep for 30 minutes.
- Strain onion skins from the water and let the dye cool to room temperature
- Place eggs in a small enough pot that the dye will cover a single layer of eggs
- Pour dye over eggs and bring to a boil
- Cover, take off burner and let sit for 20 minutes
- Place pot in refrigerator for one hour then drain