dimanche 4 mars 2012

Black Beans

I've been wanting to try dyeing with black beans for some time now, but haven't been able to find them.  The other day I found a bag at a local shop.  The brand name is Tersol, but I couldn't find anything on the package indicating where they were grown.

Dyeing with back beans is very simple.  You soak the beans for at least 12 hours, you strain off the soaking liquid and put the beans aside for cooking.  Then you use the murky soaking liquid to dye your fiber.  Note: Never use dyeing equipment for cooking food.  I used a kitchen bowl to soak the beans and then a dye pot to dye the fiber. 

Black beans

Cover beans with about two inches of water

Some people like to dye the fiber with the beans, but then they can't eat the beans and I find that to wasteful.  If you want a strong blue just soak more beans.  You can always freeze the pre-soaked beans for later.

This skein has just been pulled from the bath

Heat will destroy the blue color, so all you have to do is put your pre-wetted fiber into the bowl and wait.  Black bean dye is very sensitive to pH, so you can play around with the color by adding a little baking soda or vinegar.  My tap water is alkaline and so I got a beautiful bright blue.  It also seems like black bean dye works best on superwash wools.

Left to right 1st bath and 2nd bath
I did throw a little bit of weld dyed Shetland wool into the bath, just to see if it would go green.  It did.  It's a nice shade of celery. 

Weld dyed Shetland wool over dyed with back beans

I used 1k of beans to dye 200g of alum mordanted BFL and nylon superwash sock yarn.  I probably could have dyed a lot more fiber, but I'm almost out of alum mordanted wool and didn't want to use up too much of my stash.  I dumped the spent bath into my flower garden.

This is the most accurate picture of the blue color

Black bean dye is not very light fast, and is very sensitive to heat.  I recommend minimal washing in cold water only. Be sure to dry your dyed fiber in a shady place.

6 commentaires:

  1. What a nice and bright blue! Wow! I did this the other day too, and got a strange kind of blue colour out of it... :-)

  2. I found your blog by googling Hopi Sunflower seed dye. I'm hoping to find information on your process, since from what I could see in the preview, you got a deep, rich color. The weavers here have said that all they've been able to get out of it is a pale lavender. I'll be running the dye shed at our museum next week, and would LOVE to be able to develop some rich purples.

  3. Hi I was wondering how long you soaked the yarn in the bean dye.

  4. Hi, how much water you used to soak 1kg of beans?


  5. Black beans are well known in the Americas. Dried and canned black beans are readily available. Look for stores that carry foods for Cuban or South American cooking. I dont know where you are, so I dont know what your growing conditions are, but black beans are easy to grow. Try setting some dried beans aside to plant.

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