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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

natural dyed wooden beads

I´ve seen people write about their experience with dyeing wooden beads (ólakkaðar og ómálaðar tréperlur) with natural dyes, on different blogs. Inspired by those blogs and some pictures on Pinterest I decided to give it a try!

I got some wooden, undyed beads (Litir og Föndur, Skólavörðustíg) and let them cook together with some wool in Alum - I don´t know if it makes any sense using Alum... but I did it anyway! :-)

I then tryed out the following dyestuff:
1. Curcuma (Túrmerik)
2. The liquid from pickled Red beetroot
3. Grounded chili and paprika
4. Cranberry Apple Zinger Tea from Celestial Seasonings
5. Loyd´s Blackberry&Blueberry-tea

How I did it:
I poured boiling water over the dyestuff in different jars. I put the jars out in the sun on my balcony and let the beads soak in the liquids for 2 days and 1 night - I occasionally shook the jars a little bit.

I was really amazed and at the same time disapointed by the result - only 2 of the things above gave some colour:

1. Curcuma: great result; wonderful, mustard-yellow
2. Loyd´s Blackberry&Blueberry-tea: an interesting purple-brownish... I kind of like it...

I expected that the beetroots would give the best bead-dye (pink) - but I was really surprised and disapointed that my wooden beads didn´s soak in any colour at all! I wasn´t really expecting much of the chili/paprika-blend and the Zinger Tea...

Other natural bead-dyes I tryed out: 
I also tryed boiling the beads together with some wool with different plants that normally give you a strong colour like rhubarb-leaves, madder root, red and yellow onionskins - but none of those things worked out as a bead-dye (no colour at all).

Now I´m wondering:
1. Can you think of any other possible well-working bead-dye-material I could try out?
2. Should I try getting a different kind of  undyed wooden beads in another store?

Me and my older son love the result - we now fight over who get´s to wear them... I´ll have to let him make his own... ;-)
Curcuma-beads... yummi, love them!

Loyd´s Blackberry&Blueberry-tea-beads - nice...


  1. This is a very interesting experiment, Kristin, and I enjoyed reading :) The yellow wooden beads turned out great!!

    I have never tried dyeing anything other than wool yarn, but I am thinking that perhaps different kinds of strong coloured fruits and berries would set colour to wooden beads??

    Can't wait to see what more you do about this :)

    1. Thank you Hilde :-) It really was interesting... I´ll keep on trying - coloured berries is a really good idea. I should try that next time - I'll keep you posted!

  2. Gordjöss! Rosalega fallegt hjá þér og ég sé fyrir mér geggjaðar hálsfestar úr þessum :)


    1. Takk Soffía mín! :-) Nú er bara að gera nokkrar til viðbótar til að eiga nóg í alvöru festi!

  3. Vá! Túrmerik klikkar aldrei, haha :)
    Rosalega flott hjá þér, þetta er mjög skemmtileg tilraun.
    Ertu búin að hugsa um hvað þú ætlar að gera með svona flottum perlum? :)

    1. Takk fyrir elsku Rod minn! Þetta var svo sannarlega skemmtilegt og ég ætla að halda áfram að reyna að ná fleiri litum - td. með berjum. Svo langar mig að búa til langa perlufesti og nota hana sjálf - kannski í bland við perlur sem ég hekla utanum.

      Túrmerik er sko æði :-D Bæði í mat og litun á öllu mögulegu! he he...

  4. Hi again Kristin :) Thanks for your nice comment about my oak leaves dye.
    I have now added two more photos to the post, they are from the first dye (actually I only photographed the first dye...) I'll be away the whole day tomorrow, but on Monday I'll take more pictures and add photos of the oak tree where I picked the leaves, and the yarn from my fourth dye :)
    Have a wonderful Saturday evening and Sunday!