Beets are known for their deep red color, and their ability to stain. Make good use of that strong color by learning how to make homemade beet dye!
Plant dyes like beet dye are quite different from traditional dyes, as they work best on natural materials. In order to achieve the best results, choose fabrics like 100% cotton, hemp, linen, or wool. They will absorb more of the beet dye, which also results in longer-lasting color. Plant dyes are also much less permanent than other dyes, which is why it’s recommended to use salt or vinegar to help deepen the color and prevent fading in the wash.
How to Make Beet Dye
If you’re looking for a natural, plant-based dye that will turn your garments a gorgeous pink color, beets are a good option. The depth of color is up to you, as the fabric will get darker the longer it’s left in the dye. You can periodically check on it to ensure you end up with the color you want.
- 1 bunch of beets
- 1 large pot
- Water, to cover
- Slotted spoon
Making beet dye:
- Scrub your beets to remove dirt and debris, then chop them into large chunks. The more beets you use, the deeper, and more concentrated the color of your beet dye will be.
- Place the beets in the pot and cover with water so the water level is approximately 1 inch above the beets. You can also use slightly less water for a deeper color.
- Simmer on low for 1 hour and remove the beets with a slotted spoon when the color is to your liking.
- Allow the beet dye to cool to room temperature before using.
Using Beet Dye
As mentioned above, plant dyes work best on natural fabrics, so keep that in mind when using your beet dye. It’s also a good idea to use a salt or vinegar soak for your garments to ensure longer lasting color. No matter what garments you wish to dye, you can use the following steps:
- Create a fixative bath by adding a ratio of 4:1 water to vinegar to a large stockpot on the stove. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow your garments to simmer for an hour.
- Place the wet garments in the beet dye for as long as necessary to achieve the color results. This could range anywhere from 1 hour to overnight.
- Remove your garments from the beet dye, and gently squeeze to remove excess dye.
- Allow the garments to drip dry overnight, ideally over a bathtub or even outside if the weather is nice.
- Once dry, use a warm iron to help set the dye.
Tip: to help prevent fading color over time, ensure you always wash dyed garments on a low or gentle cycle.
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