That's sort of a strange title, isn't it? But it's exactly what I did. I soaked about three cups of black beans for two hours, then saved the juice. Next, I added seven more types of beans and legumes to the mix and allowed them to soak overnight. Yesterday I had eight bean soup with a side of wild rice. Now that I have covered the eat part of this tale, let's get to the dye part.
You can see the now cool black bean juice I siphoned off, along with what's left of an old white bed sheet
that I tore to size. As I've said before, I am a simple dyer. I don't like harsh chemicals, so I use old bed sheets that the sizing has been washed out of years before.
If you start with new fabric, you must prepare it for dyeing. Even the fabric marked PFD (or prepared for dyeing) must first be washed, because it contains oils and dust that have accumulated from customer handling and sitting on a shelf in a store.
For new fabric, you will need a big pot, soda ash or washing soda (which are caustic), and a detergent free of dyes, chemicals, lotions, brighteners, or softeners. Then you add the soda ash and detergent to the pot with lots of water and the fabric you want to "scour." Next, you must boil it for a given amount of time. If you go this route, I'm sure there are tons of tutorials on the internet that can give you ratios, what and where to purchase materials, and advice.
You will also learn you MUST scour your fabric, even old bed sheets like mine. Scouring helps assure even or equal color and good penetration of the dye. But I'm not using commercial dyes, and I don't want even or equal color. I'm all about the mottled look in my dyeing.
I didn't even wet my fabric first, something you are told to always do to get mottle free dyeing. Instead, I LOOSELY tied knots in a few places. If my fingers were stronger, I would have tied tighter, but I knew I would never get the knots untied if I did. I was hoping these loose knots would at least provide a bit of a barrier.
As I began placing my fabric in the black bean dye bath, I was surprised to see how the "dye" was already wicking into the fabric.
I continued to watch,
mesmerized by how quickly the dye bath took over. I allowed the fabric to sit overnight in the dye bath, and yesterday I removed it, washed it in warm soapy water (I used Dawn brand dish soap), then removed the knots.
Even though it's very windy, and I have yet to iron this fabric,
I was not just happy, but thrilled to have created this piece.
After a short time, the fabric was dry. Even though it dried lighter (which all fabric does), I was elated beyond belief with the outcome. Looks like my camera photo bombed the photo (on the right), too.
I was glad I finished taking photos of this early in the day because as I was bringing this fabric in to iron it, the wind started to shift to the north. We are now under a winter advisory, with blizzard advisories from Friday afternoon through Monday morning.
Thanks for joining me today as I created a simple dyed piece I will use as a cover for one of my fabric journals. Once this goes live, you can easily find it again on my Tutorials page under "Dyeing using black beans." I hope you like these Second Thursday Tutorials. For me, it is all about asking "what if," and discovering the outcome.
<div class="Second on the 2nd button" style="width: 200px; margin: 0 auto;">
<a href="http://alteredbooklover.blogspot.com/" rel="nofollow">
<img src="http://www.halleshobbies.com/secondlook.jpg" alt="Second on the 2nd" width="200" height="200" />
Bleubeard and I welcome you
Art, including the journey, background techniques, new experiments, photos, failures, and successes will be shared on this site. I have removed my e-mail address until such time as I can get it to work again. Thank you for understanding. You can always leave a note on my blog and I will visit you.
Please check out my Previous Collaborations link above to see what projects I have been involved in over the past seven years. Current and ongoing projects only are shown below.
Occasionally, Silent Sunday will showcase photos of my home, neighborhood, or community. A picture is often worth a thousand words.
Feelfree to drop by every second Thursday of the month for my Second Thursday Tutorials. They are interspersed with my other Tutorials found at the link above.
Bleubeard will guide you to each Altered Book Lesson as it appears
Click on any lesson you might have missed or want to review