How to Dye a T-Shirt Using Beets

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Beets are not only good for your health, they are a natural source of vegetable dye to color clothes at home without harsh chemicals. The finished color will range from a light pinkish-purple to a deeper purple -- depending on how long you leave the garment in the beet liquid. Opt for natural fabrics such as cotton, linen and silk as they absorb and maintain natural dyes better than synthetic fabrics, which can actually resist the dye.

Step 1

Wash the T-shirt to remove any traces of dirt or perspiration. Do not dry it.

Step 2

Put on rubber gloves or disposable gloves to protect your hands and arms from beet juice stains. Use a cutting board as a base to cut the beets into into dice-sized chunks with a kitchen knife. Put the chunks in a large glass or enamel pot and put the pot on the stove.

Step 3

Add enough water to cover the beets, turn the heat on high and bring the water to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium and simmer the beets until they're cooked through and the water is deeply colored. This takes about one hour.

Step 4

Remove the beets and discard them. Bring the liquid back to a simmer and place the T-shirt in the pot. Stir it with a paint stick to completely immerse it in the dye bath and let it simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Step 5

Check the garment after one hour. It will dry to a lighter color, so the darker you want the finished color, the longer the shirt should soak in the dye bath. For really deep color, let the shirt soak for several hours or until the liquid has cooled to room temperature.

Step 6

Rinse the shirt thoroughly in cool water until the water runs clear. Dry the shirt overnight on a clothesline or run it through a machine drying cycle with like-colored clothing or old towels to avoid staining other clothes.

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