Let's start creating some gorgeous textiles
Making your own plant-based dyes is such fun experimentation. Things like tea, turmeric, onions and walnuts make the most amazingly vibrant dyes. And maybe I’m just biased, but the shades are always classic and sophisticated, unlike those man-made dyes you’ll find at the craft store. Rusty red from onions, vibrant ocher from turmeric, Earthy beige from coffee —I love them all.
But my favorite shade is actually the bright pink of beets. Here’s how to make gorgeous dip dyed dish clothes with natural beet dye.
Luckily, you don’t need harsh, chemical dyes to tint fabric in lovely colors!
List of things you will need:
1. Chopped/grated beetroots
6. 100% cotton Fabric/T-Shirt/Scarf
1. Pour about 2 liters of water in your vessel and bring it to a boil.
2. Take another container and put warm water from your bathroom heater( you can heat the water on stove as well) and add 2 spoon of salt. Soak the fabric/anything that you want to dye in the solution(has to be undyed/white and 100% cotton/silk/linen) and leave it till fully wetted.
3. If you’re not going to peel your beets, scrub them well to remove any dirt, and then chop them. Don’t go crazy chopping them into small pieces, but do make sure that you chop them so that plenty of the inner flesh is exposed to the water. Remember that if you use more beets and less water, you’ll get a deeper rose color. Using fewer beets and more water will give you a lighter, more subtle color for your natural clothing dye.
4. Cover the beets in your large pot (large enough to accommodate whatever item of clothing you want to dye) with water so that the water level is about 2” above the beets.
5. Bring to a boil and simmer at a low boil for about an hour. Strain the beets and save them for another use. If you’d like, you can add one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and/or one tablespoon of salt to your beets while you boil them to help retain the dye.
6. Place your t-shirt or other item of clothing into the water. Stir it around with a spoon or paint stick until the beet water has soaked through the entire garment.
7. Let the clothing sit in the beet water for no more than 3-4 hours – I found that 6-8 hours overnight was plenty of time to allow the beet water to soak into the t-shirt.
8. After you remove the clothing from the dye, allow it to drip dry – don’t squeeze it too hard, or you’ll squeeze all the natural clothing dye out! You can either dry it outside if it’s a warm, sunny day. After the clothing is dry, you can use a warm iron for five minutes to heat set the dye.
9. You're ready to use it.
I dyed two sample fabrics, one was 100% cotton and other was cotton-silk, soaking them for 2 hours in the dye bath.
I also made a Shibori scarf by soaking it in the dye bath for 3-4 hours.
Save the leftover dye in a container and you can use it for more projects.