Holla at a successful first attempt at making natural dye! I’d been wanting to ombre up some dip dyed tea towels for a while now and also get to experimenting with natural dye methods, so I combined the two for this project! I’m so happy with the results and think it’s a little crazy that you can use the same vegetables you eat to permanently dye things.
The longer you leave this guy in beet dye to soak, the more vibrant the color is going to be! A few hours will get you a nice dusty rose color and soaking overnight will get you closer to this vibrant magenta. Definitely going to be making something wearable on the next round (headband, tote bag?) and dying with turmeric is up next on the list!
Have fun, and please share your project pics or natural dying tips!
Beet Dyed Tea Towels, inspired by Free People
3-4 large beets
Plain tea towels (or flour sack cloths)
- To make the dye, chop up beets and put them in a pot with twice as much water as beets. Bring the water to a boil and let simmer for an hour.
- Meanwhile, create a fixative, which will help your fabric hold the dye. In a separate pot mix one part vinegar and four parts water, add fabric (easiest if you keep it folded) and boil for one hour. When it’s time to remove the fabric, rinse in cold water before adding to beet dye.
- Turn the heat off of the beet dye pot. For a natural ombre, dip the folded tea towel in dye just over half way, and then set it halfway in, folding the edge over the pot to keep it from falling all the way in. (Careful not to get the fabric near your burners, even though they should be off now!)
- Once the fabric is placed, let sit until it reaches the shade you want. For a lighter color, that’s about 2-3 hours. For a brighter color, leave to sit overnight, or a little longer. I left mine in for 10 hours.
- Lastly, remove and hang to dry! I would take care to wash these separately or with darker towels the first time.