Clothing, Kitchen

Experimenting with Natural Beet Dye

When boiling food, I usually make use of the excess water after cooling in some way, like watering the plants. When boiling beets the other day, I was mesmerized by the beautiful dark red liquid which made me think; why not use it to create something beautiful?

Traditionally, beet liquid has been used in Middle Eastern cuisine to dye certain foods before pickling for aesthetic reasons, like turnip and cauliflower, which today that is unfortunately replaced by processed colorings and chemical dyes.

Pickled cauliflowers colored in beet dye

Here’s how my experiment went, and how I did it:

  • Peel and chop the beets, and boil till soft.
  • After the boil, remove the beets and let the excess liquid cool.
  • Choose a white or light-colored fabric and soak it in the pot with the beet liquid. You can choose to knot it in ties or re-used rubber bands to create different designs on the textile.

  • Let the fabric soak in the liquid for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  • Take the fabric out and rinse it gently over the pot from excess liquid.
  • Rinse the fabric in cold water.
  • Hand dry above the shower or outdoors.
  • Wash the fabric gently in the machine with other similar colors, maximum temperature 30 degrees.

If you give this a try, let me know how it goes for you!