30 Oct 2013

Beans to dye for

Black beans are a wonder! For dyeing ---
I soaked them for two days in much water then strained them and used them for cooking
(We had the Mexican bean stew on Sunday and it WAS good - for in a Swabian household nothing is being wasted - people might laugh at this - I am used to it - they say the old Swabians have been expelled from Scotland because of their thriftiness).
But the liquid, the dark looking liquid is my dyeing bath in which
I put various threads and some scraps of linen and cotton

The parts which are above the level of the dyeing liquid on the photo above
are really the true colour ---- now after drying and ironing -
I soaked it for 3 days - except the fil à broder ( the right skein) which was soaked only
for two days and cured with white vinegar. So it is slightly paler and has got some purple in it.
The colour really is more like this below:

or like this - anyway something in between and towards grey"ish"

When the sky is blue it is coming out like that - too blue!!

So take your imagination and think it into grey-blue. I like the hue
and am spirited by the result and applaud the beans. Enjoy your meal!


  1. This is a new dyeing trick! I have used tea and onion skins but have never heard of using black beans - and such a pretty colour. I applaud the beans too!

  2. Wow, what a great result Anneliese, I have just put these beans onto my next shopping list. I wonder what would happen if you added a bit of cochineal...red food colouring would you get purple.

  3. Oh my I love this idea. How easy to do. Keep thinking I would like to do some natural dyeing. Love the results.

  4. Yes, well done beans, and you - what a lovely colour! I'm curious - when you mordant (?) with white vinegar, does the colour stay fast?

  5. *lol* this is interesting. You love to make experiments. Me too. Some day I have to try this too.

  6. you got beautiful colors from your dye. i'm wondering if different brands of beans give different colors.

  7. Wow, beautiful colours, great idea!

  8. The beans are in the pot, some fabric and thread too. You made me curious.

  9. Gotta try this Anneliese (if I can find some black beans in the supermarket). it is such fun trying different natural products for dyes. I am still trying to find Alum at a reasonable price here in Oz - to use as a mordant. The black bean experiment worked well for you, the colour is very pretty indeed.

  10. your dyieng has worked do well, I do like the suttle colours, next time I am at the supermarket I might be tempted to buy some black beans and have a go


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