The Plant Edit

Black beans are an annual, warm season vegetable which requires full sun[1]

How to Harvest Edit

Black bean pods are left on the vine until most of the leaves have fallen off the vine and the beans rattle inside the pod. Harvest by pulling up the entire plant and placing it in a [1]

How to Extract Color Edit

Image medium (2)
Image medium (1)

Black beans are soaked for 24 hours in room temperature water. More beans will make more pigment. Strain the beans from the liquid and save the beans to cook with. Allow the remaining dye bath to settle for a few hours and then siphon the water and bean particles from the top, for a cleaner color. Next add pre-mordanted fiber or yarn to the dye bath and allow to soak for 12-48 hours. Rinse in cool water. [2]

Black bean dye is not considered a colorfast dye. It is both light and heat sensitive and will fade when washed. Heat during the dye process will destroy the color. In addition, the dye is very sensitive to pH and will change colors depending on the pH, providing anywhere from purple to green, or brown. [3]

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 McLaughlin, C. (2014). A garden to dye for: How to use plants from the garden to create natural colors for fabrics and fibers (p. 78). Pittsburgh, PA: St. Lynn's Press.
  2. Natural dye tutorial: Blue yarn from black beans! (2012, February 3). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from
  3. Dye Lot. (n.d.). Retrieved June 8, 2015, from