Natural dyeing with black bean results!

Natural dyeing with black bean results!

Quite purple when mixed with lemon.


Natural Dyeing

Natural Dyeing

Have experimented with black beans this new year. It is an alternative blue dye, though not as lightfast as indigo, apparently it lasts a year and then you can redye for fun! My dear friend K and I soaked the beans in cold tap water for over 24 hrs, resulting in a smelly purple dye. What fun! We bundled up some cotton and silk scraps, some dyed from ages ago with eucalypt and other misc safe plants. Some of them we dipped in some unwanted watery egg. Then with put them in unreactive containers (glass and plastic) with creme of tartar, aluminium and in some lemon. Last step was to pour the dye bath (with none or few bean bits) into the containers and wait forever. K couldn’t wait very long and had to open one after 16 or so hours because of her need for instant gratification. It turned out a lovely purply blue and where the old gum leaf dye was it remained a beautiful orange so it resulted in a lovely contrast. When we put lemon in, it created a ph change to the acidic side and so made it more pinky purple, which was magic. It is the same as when you change the ph of the soil under a hydrangea plant to change the colour to purple or blue. I’m going to leave the rest of the containers for a few days to give the cloths as much chance of holding the dye as possible. Sweet. When I open them up I shall post more photos!

Witch’s Familiars


‘And back behind those smiling lips,
And down within those laughing eyes,
And underneath the soft caress Of hand and voice and purring sighs,
The shadow of the panther lurks,’
An excerpt from a poem by James Weldon Johnson
A wonderful imagery runs through it, can’t say it’s pro woman, witch or cat though.  I’m pro all three! So even though the poem uses women as a tool to describe much nastier things, which is unfortunate, (read the poem, look up the meaning), I choose to re-interpret some of the lines for  positive meanings! Hahahaha! Kitties….