A recipe for making a natural plant dye using Rhododendron leaves, producing shades of yellow, orange and green depending on the mordants used.


Difficulty Level:


Time Required:

2 days

Here’s How:

  1. Premordant wool with alum, tin, blue vitriol or vinegar.
  2. Remove some leaves from the Rhododendron plant. Chop the leaves into small pieces. Soak overnight in cold water.
  3. Heat the dyebath, keeping the temperature below 200 degrees F (95 deg. C). Hotter temperatures can turn fresh leaves to brown or tan colours.
  4. Simmer dyebath for 1 hour.
  5. Add the premordanted wool and simmer for an hour or until sufficient colour is obtained.
  6. Allow the dyebath to cool.
  7. Remove the dyed wool, rinse and let dry.


  • Using different mordants will produce different colours. Alum- yellow, Blue vitriol – gold, Tin – orange, Iron – khaki, olive green, Vinegar – beige.

    How To Make an Alum Mordant
    How To Make a Tin Mordant
    Natural Dyes and Mordant Recipes
    MSDS – Aluminum Potassium Sulfate 

    Natural Dyes and Mordants


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