Tansy flower tops will give a yellow dye.


Difficulty Level:


Time Required:

6 hours

Here’s How:


  1. Use equal weight of tansy flowers to weight of wool. Cut the flower tops of tansy plants when they are in full bloom.
  2. Chop the tansy flower tops into small pieces and place in a dyepot filled with water.
  3. Simmer the dyepot for 1 – 2 hours. Let it cool and sit overnight.
  4. Add the pre-mordanted clean wool to the dyepot.
  5. Bring to boil and simmer on low heat for 2 hours or until sufficient color is reached.
  6. Turn off the heat and let the dyepot cool.
  7. Remove the dyed wool from the dyepot.
  8. Rinse in cool water, and let dry.


  • Tansy flower tops can be picked and dried for use later. The color will be a bit different than using fresh blossoms.
  • Try different mordants for different shades of color, such as alum, tin or rhubarb leaves.
  • An alkali solution (ammonia) can shift the colour to an olive brown.
  • The addition of iron can give olive-green shades.

    NMSU Dye Project
    Growing tansy and other natural dye plants.

    How To Make an Alum Mordant
    How To Make a Tin Mordant
    Natural Dyes and Mordant Recipes

    Natural Dyes – EBay Watch


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