Yesterday I rinsed out my first experiment solar dyeing with beetroot
With the more traditional methods of dyeing beetroot usually gives tan or brownish shades, so I was really pleased with this vibrant warm brickish red. It is more intense than in the photo. I was inspired to go down to the local greengrocer and buy 3lbs of fresh beetroot to try a larger batch.
But - what about the golden rule? Which golden rule? My golden rule of natural dyeing, which is - if you can eat something, dont dye with it, eat it!! Which really means, only use the parts you cant eat as dyestuff.
So, as well as preparing a bigger solar dye jar of beetroot dye (that's a 2 litre jar and contains 50g wool tops and 50g silk caps) ......
....... I have made 10 jars of beetroot chutney - yummy!
Here's my recipe for beetroot chutney:
Cook 3lbs (about 1350g) beetroot whole, in 2 litres of water for 1 hour. leave to cool, then peel the beetroot. SAVE THE COOKING LIQUID AND SKINS FOR THE DYEBATH.
Peel and chop 3 onions, place in a large pan with 450ml malt vinegar, put the lid on the pan and start to simmer. Peel and chop 8 apples and add to the onions. Add 250g demerara sugar, 2 tsp sea salt and 1 tbs grated fresh ginger and continue to simmer. Cut the peeled beetroot into small dice, add them to the pan and simmer gently for an hour, stirring occasionally.
When the chutney is nearly ready put the clean jars into the oven at 100 degrees for 15 -20 minutes. Then fill the jars with the hot chutney and put the lids on tightly.
If you want to learn how to do the solar dyeing - you'll have to come to one of my worshops! It will probably also appear as a chapter in my next spinning book, which I am working on.
in the meantime, you can freeze the beetroot cooking water and skins!