Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, a poisonous substance, but it can be used as a mordant.

Difficulty Level:


Time Required:

4 hours

Here’s How:

  1. Wear rubber gloves and protective clothing.
  2. Cut rhubarb leaves into small pieces and place in a large dyepot filled with water.
  3. Simmer for 2 hours, covered. Avoid vapor inhalation.
  4. Strain the mordant liquid, removing the leaves.
  5. Place clean, wet wool into the rhubarb mordant liquid and simmer 1 – 2 hours.
  6. Allow the mordant to cool before removing the wool.


  • If you grow rhubarb, the rhubarb leaves do naturally compost in your garden and are not generally considered dangerous
  • But Rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid which is toxic. Store covered and keep away from small children or pets.

  • Rhubarb roots can produce shades of orange and reds.
  • Rhubarb stalks make wonderful pies.

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