Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Dye Easter eggs-white or brown eggs, what works best?


Red Easter egg among white eggs
Each year, at Easter time, I am looking for white eggs to buy for dyeing eggs.
I haven't seen white shelled eggs for quite some time, they are not preferred by commercial producers, for some reason.
Surprisingly, this year, grocery and supermarket shelves are loaded with white shelled eggs at our expense, of course. Like everything else holidays relate, white eggs are much more expensive than brown eggs.
I don't like unpleasant surprises, so I bought a dozen of white eggs and made an egg dyeing test. I share bellow my experience and results obtained with different dyes.

As with all things there is a positive and a negative aspect when dyeing either white and brown eggshell.

Advantages of white shelled eggs for Easter dyeing:

When using commercial or food coloring dyes, eggs with white shell  will display pure, vivid colors. Natural dyes obtained from vegetables and herbal teas will display on white eggs light, natural, pastel colors, if this is what you are after.
Though, dyeing eggs with natural dyes takes much longer to obtain the color you wish, it is a great craft activity for kids and family. Beautiful colors are obtained from onion skins, red cabbage, beetroot, spinach leaves, marigolds, dandelions, cornflowers, raspberries and many other plants. Children have great fun using natural dyes from plants and vegetables that they are familiar with in their everyday life.

Disadvantages of white shelled eggs when dyeing Easter eggs:

Easter eggs dyed with onion skin
Opposed to the logical believe that white eggs are more suitable for dying, this is not true with onion skins, unless you prefer a very light, undefined color. The white eggs I just dyed with onion skin have a muddy, muted color. I like a deeper, brighter color for my Easter eggs, so I'll stick with the brown ones.
Check out the brown ones dyed with onion skin and see the difference.
You will also notice that the leaf pattern on the brown eggs has a warmer, yellowish tone with a more pleasant contrast than these here.

Dyed eggs are usually not evenly coated mostly because of the tiny rugosities in the egg shell texture. You may not see it in the photo but all these little color patches are more prominent on the white shell.

Another disadvantage of using white eggs is that their shell is much thinner. You will end up with many cracked eggs, no matter how patient or careful you are when boiling them. This is not such a great problem when using natural dyes, though it is unaesthetic. Brown eggs have tougher/thicker shells, at least the ones I can buy here from factory-farm hens.
This could be different in case you have the possibility to raise your own chickens but I'm not so sure. Leave a comment and share your experience with dyeing white and brown eggs.

1 comments:

Breathtaking said...

Hello! I also use brown eggs for dyeing for exactly the same reasons you mentioned.They look pretty as a table centre at Easter.

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