The coffee plant produces a red or purple cherry-like fruit which grows in clusters. Each cherry contains two pits, laying with their flat sides together. These pits are the seed of the coffee plant and are what are referred to as beans. These beans, once roasted and ground, produce the deep, rich coffee beverage enjoyed worldwide.
Every morning my husband grinds coffee beans and brews a fresh pot of steaming coffee, always making more than he consumes. Although I am not a coffee-drinker, I do love the aroma that fills the kitchen. After pouring left-over coffee down the drain time and again, and admiring the deep brown shades of color, I began to wonder if all of this left-over coffee might make a suitable dye. So I began saving it, pouring it into a jug and storing it in the refrigerator until I had enough liquid for a small dye pot, about 12 cups.
In room-temperature tap water, I soaked a 2 oz. skein of wool yarn for about 20 minutes to open up the fibers and ready them to accept the dye. The yarn had been pre-mordanted with alum. After entering the wool into the dye-pot, I brought the temperature to a just below a boil and simmered for about 45 minutes.
The results were a warm, golden brown. Different coffees and the strength of the coffee may produce different results.
|Wool yarn, pre-mordanted with alum, dyed with coffee.|