- Using my enamel dye pot I filled it with 2 gal of water;
- Add 4 medium size beets cut up and placed in your nylon stockings; my beets were probably about 3 or 4 inches in diameter, there should be about 1 cup of dye material;
- Add 1 cup of salt, plain table salt;
- Add 3 tsp of Washing Soda, I used plain Arm and Hammer Soda;
- Add 3 tsp of Alum;
- Boil your mixture for about 1/2 hour and then add your coil of cane;
- Simmer for 1/2 hour and remove from heat;
Depending on how dark you want the material, you will let it sit in the dye pot overnight.
Generally the dye material is first soaked in an Alum solution, this solution is used to help the dye adhere to the dyed material better and it also gives the dye a clear color.
As you know beets are a deep red and when cooked much of that juice is a nice deep red as well and would probably make a really pretty deep red color on commercial cane depending on how long you let the cane sit in the dye and the amount of beets you use. However, since I used the all in one method for this dye batch, I will never know. I think this is one disadvantage to using the all in one method for dyeing, you don't get to see the original dye material in it's natural state.
The dye was originally red from the beets, then turned a nice golden orange and then flipped over into a quite vibrant yellow. This is probably a result of the Alum and/or Soda that was added.
Using just the beets and table salt would probably give you the deep red color only from the beets, which I'll try next time.
The top photo is the cane wet and the bottom is the cane dry, it came out a real nice ecru color. And this from Beets with Alum and Soda added.I would probably not add the alum or washing soda to this if you want a nice red dye and once again you may want to increase the amount of beets used for dyeing. I also might try a vinegar color modifier to enhance the red.