Nothing sets the mood at a table better than beautiful table linens. I love the subtlety of vegetable dyed linens and cottons the most. After seeing them again and again in fancy boutiques with huge price tags I decided to purchase some inexpensive cotton napkins, run to my local farmers market and get to work.
100% natural fiber linens
So first you need to decide what colors you want, and by that I mean what natural material you want to use. You can experiment with almost anything that naturally has an intense color. Here’s a little visual key for the ones I did:
Yellow onion skins
IF you’re using beets, remove the greens and quarter the beets.
For everything else you can use them as they are.
Place your material in a stock pot and cover with twice as much water. So if you’ve got 4 cups of beets, cover them with 8 cups of water.
Simmer them for about an hour. If the water gets too low and a little bit more.
Pour your liquid through a sieve to remove the vegetable material. If you’ve got any little floaters in there, pour the liquid through a paper filter or a paper towel fit into a colander. It’s not necessary, it will prevent getting in little dark flex’s of color on your linens. Transfer your dye to a bucket or tub.
Now it’s time to prepare your linens. If they’re new, run them through the washer once to remove any sizing. Now simmer them on the stove in 4 cups of water mixed with 1 cup of vinegar for vegetable based dyes or a 1/4 cup of salt for fruit based dyes. Once done, rinse them well and place them into your dyes.
Let them sit in the dyes until you get a color that’s a little darker than what you ultimately want. Rinse them under running water u til the water runs clear and then lay them flat to dry. Once dry you can wash them separately to remove any extra dye.
Set your table and feel proud about your sophisticated (and inexpensive) linens. (Oh if you want to get really fancy…add a little monogram..stitched or iron on, your choice.)