Since the beginning of our Natural Dye series, I've been itching to experiment with beets as a stain. Their outrageously pink pigment always gives me pause when I'm slicing them up for a recipe or sending them through the juicer in the mornings. So I boiled a bushel to dye a few boring old cotton tea towels that were just begging for a makeover. The beets left the towels such a beautiful shade of blush. I'm tickled....uh, pink about it! Below, find some tips on how to naturally dye textiles with beets.
A textile, fabric, or article of clothing made from 100% natural fibers (cotton or linen work great)
3 cups of peeled and chopped beets (3 or 4 large beets)
1 cup white vinegarWater
A large pot (large enough to hold your fabric and liquid)
To make the dye //
Fill a large pot 3/4 of the way full with water. Add the beets and bring to a boil. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, bring down to a simmer for an hour on low heat. After an hour, take the pot off heat and add 1 cup of vinegar. This will help the dye adhere to your fabric.Once the liquid is slightly cooled, you're ready to begin dying! I tried a dip dye method and a couple of tie dye methods. Let your fabric soak in the dye for at least two hours. I left my towels in overnight to really absorb the dye. Ring out the excess moisture and let the fabric air dry or tumble dry on low in the dryer by themselves (the heat actually helps set the color)!