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Natural Dyes from plants.

Posted by
deb lux 7
( on
Wed, May 9, 01 at 5:37

We have groups of children that come through the arboretum and change programs. They have booklets and find tree, bugs,etc and have to check them off. It seems to be expanding this summer and a workshop of natural tie-dye will keep them busy. I will try to get or grow some plants from a list if you can provide. I know about indigo, pine needles and onion skins. Can you think of anything else. thanks, I will be fun. Deb Lux

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Natural Dyes from plants.

Do a search on the web, I found a site "herb and plant dyes" that explains a lot.

RE: Natural Dyes from plants.

This is one site that starts from the name of the plant, and goes into dying from there.

Here is a link that might be useful: Growing dye plants

RE: Natural Dyes from plants.

dandelion blooms, don't forget red onions, coffee grounds, can't remember more always did my Easter eggs for the kids when they were small..dandelion makes a lovely golden egg....bedazzled

RE: Natural Dyes from plants.


On the Yahoo Groups there is a list for Natural Dyes that has lots of good information. But for some commonly available plants try anthemis, calendulas, marigolds, coreopsis, Queen Ann's Lace, tansy, burdock, aspen leaves, juniper leaves..... Try anything and see what you get. I dye mostly woolens and it has to be pre-mordanted except in the case of indigo. I'm not too sure about cottons except most of them have to have been soaked in something with tannin in it and maybe rinsed in soda ash water to set the colors.

Billings, MT

RE: Natural Dyes from plants.

I might suggest searches through Native Indian Lore....AMS

RE: Natural Dyes from plants.

I use walnut hulls for a silvery smoke color for fabrics and some use it for reed dyes. Soak your fabric in a stinky solution of walnut hulls (nuts ok too) as long as you can stand it. Weeks. Then, lay that bad boy on the ground to let most of the really horrid smelling water drip out. It is best if you lay it in the yard a few days to dry. Soda Ash at about 4 oz per pint is a good next bath. Wash, wash wash till you like the smell. Voila.

If you move the fabric every few days, you'll get a cloudy, glazy effect. The more activity, the smoother and more consistent the color... but it is more interesting if not too consistent.

RE: Natural Dyes from plants.

Hopi red dye Amaranthus is some thing the Native Americans used to make a beautiful deep red color. I have used it for shirts.

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