Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Black Beans Dye Blue - Who Knew?
If you've read this blog before, you'll know that I did a fun little natural dyeing experiment with black beans that gave me some gorgeous blue yarn. The question among the group of natural dyers doing this is "How colorfast and lightfast is this dye?" It hardly seems worth all the work to do the three step process of first mordanting the fiber, then soaking the beans to make the dye, then actually dyeing the fiber if it isn't going to hold its' color. (Think of all those dirty dishes!)
I made the yarn into a cozy pair of Blueberry Waffle Socks in March. I've worn them frequently since. They are my around the house, slipper sort of socks. They've already been washed a half dozen times - once in the washing machine/dryer, the rest dunked in the sink by hand with some baby shampoo. Between washes, they've mostly been draped out on an easy chair in my bedroom that's bright with natural light during the day. Sort of for experimental purposes and sort of because I'm lazy that way...
After 3 weeks of almost constant wear and light exposure- I see a little fading. Probably as much as you'd get with anything given that much use. For me - definately worthwhile to use this type of dyeing. Even on hard used items - once they've faded enough - you could dunk the whole thing in the dyepot again. I call this a successful experiment. And as a bonus, I've become very attached to my super comfy Black Bean Socks.