Tag Archives: natural dye recipes

Madder Root Dye

Madder Root Dye Recipe for Linen, Cotton and Cellulose Fibres

All cellulose fibres, yarns and fabrics must be scoured prior to mordanting or dyeing. Please see my previous article on how to do this.
How to Scour Linen

For these samples, I used several different linen and cotton fabrics as well as wool yarn.

Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples
Linen and Cotton Fabric Samples

Unbleached Cotton
Bleached Linen
Linen/Cotton Blend
Natural Linen (light weight)
Natural Linen (heavy weight)

Madder Root Dye Recipe
for 100 grams of fibre
20 grams Indian Madder Root powder – Rubia Cordifolia
Put Madder Root dye powder into dye pot.
Let simmer in dyepot for +1 hour at 50 deg.
Add pre-mordanted wool yarn and sample fabrics.
Let simmer in dyepot for +1 hour.
Remove the wool yarn. Let this cool and rinse thoroughly to remove the excess dye powder.
Turn the heat off the dyepot and leave the linen and cotton samples to soak overnight. More colour will continue to develop as the dyebath cools.

Indian Madder on Linen and Cotton
Indian Madder on Linen and Cotton

Himalayan Rhubarb Plant Dye
Eucalyptus Leaf Plant Dye
Brazilwood Plant Dye

Paivatar – Plant Dyed Wool Yarns
Look for some of my plant dyed yarns at my PaivatarYarn Shop on Etsy.

Plant Dyed Wool Yarn
Plant Dyed Wool Yarn

Natural Dyes
Anne Georges
Wild Colours

Natural Dye Books

Indigo from Seed to Dye

Indigo: Dye It, Make It: Techniques from plain and dip-dyeing to tie-dyeing and batik, in natural indigo blue

Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

Natural Dyes

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use

Dyes and Mordants on Ebay

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Natural Dyes – Black Bean Dye Recipe

I had heard that it was possible to dye yarns using black beans but have never tried it before so last week when I went grocery shopping I looked for some. I purchased a 500 gram bag of Turtle Black Beans from my local Waitrose grocery store.

I placed all of the beans into a large plastic jar and covered them with ordinary tap water. Overnight, the beans expanded and filled the whole jar, so then I split the bean solution into 2 jars and added more water. I let this bean stock sit on my kitchen counter for 3 days. The water in the jars started to look quite blue so I was hopeful that this would work.
Meanwhile, I spun 100 grams of white wool and divided the wool into 2 50 gram skeins.

Alum Mordant
I mordanted the wool in a 5% solution of alum and water. (5 grams of alum to 100 grams of wool) I left the wool in the hot mordant for about an hour, then I turned off the heat and let the yarn sit in the mordant solution until cool.
I then strained out the dye water from the beans into 2 plastic bowls and placed the skeins of wool into the dye solution. I refilled the bean jars with water, as I am hoping that I will be able to extract more dye from the beans.

Wool in Dye Bath
This is the wool in the black bean dye bath after about 2 hours.

Black Beans Dye
Black Beans Dyepot

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I let the wool sit overnight in the black bean dye bath – pH 5.

Black beans dye
Black Beans Dyepot pH5

I removed the wool from one of the bowls and added some washing soda to the dyebath to change the pH to 9. Then I put the yarn back into the bath. Almost immediately the colour changed to more of a grey-blue shade.

Black beans dyepot
Wool in Black Bean Dye pH9

Black Bean Dye Batch No. 1
On Left – wool dyed with black beans and alum – pH5
On Right – wool dyed with black beans and alum – pH9
The blue wool turned to a greyer shade of blue when the pH was changed to 9 with the addition of washing soda

Wool Dyed with Black Beans
Wool Dyed with Black Beans

I am pleased with the results so far. My only concern is whether they will be very colorfast or will fade in daylight. I will put some into a sunny window for the next month to see if any fading occurs.

Yes, sadly, the beautiful colours faded badly and turned gray.

Natural Dye Recipes
Tin Mordant
Alum Mordant
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Fungi Dyes Cortinarius Semisanguineus: cort-semisanguineous

Cortinarius Semisanguineus – Yellow, Orange dye from stems
Reds, pinks from caps
FI: Verihelttaseitikki

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Alum Mordant

3 litres water

25 grams alum

10 grams cream of Tartar

Bring to boil and then let cool

100 gram wool yarn tied in skeins

Rinse the clean washed yarn in cool water

Add the yarn into the cool mordant bath and bring it to 80-90 C degrees

Simmer for 1 hour

Remove and let cool

Mushroom Dye Bath

Separate the mushroom caps from the stems and use them as separate dye baths. The caps will give a red dye colour and the stems a yellow/orange dye.

If using dried mushrooms soak them in water for a few hours until soft.

100 grams dried mushrooms

5 litres water

Bring to boil and simmer for 2-3 hours

Let dyebath cool

Strain the liquid and store the cooked mushrooms. They can be used again in an afterbath

Add mordanted yarn to strained dyebath liquid

Return to heat and simmer for 1 hour at 80-90 degrees Celsius or longer for stronger colour.

Remove from heat source and let cool

Rinse in water that is of similar temperature as dyebath to avoid shocking the yarn and causing felting to occur.

fungi dyed scarves

Silk scarves dyed with cortinarius mushrooms.

Fungi Dyes

Tom Volk’s Fungus of the Month – Sept 99

Cortinarius semisanguineus – Eleanor Yarrow Slide Collection

Mushroom Tours in Mexico

Fungi in Finland and Sweden

..More Fungi Dyes..
Mushroom Dyes

IFFS Mushroom Dyes

Fungal Records Database of Britain and Ireland

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Dyeing the cortinarius mushroom caps.

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Dyeing the cortinarius mushroom stems.
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Mushroom Fungi Natural Dye Books
The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyers Field Guide
Natural Colors to Dye For – How to use natural dyes from plants and fungi
Mushrooms for Color
Mushrooms for Dyes, Paper, Pigments, Myco Stix

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Natural dyes: blnatdye

Alum
Aluminum Potasium Sulfate
used as a mordant in natural dyeing

Alum Mordant

Brazilwood
A natural dye substance that gives reds, purples, and pinks and corals.. Brazilwood can be obtained from several trees: Haematoxylum brasiletta, Caesalpinia sappan, C. echinata

Brazilwood Dye

Logwood
Haematoxylum campechianum
Logwood comes from a tree native to the West Indies and the Yucatan Peninsula. The heartwood yields a dye that gives pinks, blues, purples and greens depending on the mordants.

Logwood Dye

Osage Orange
Maclura pomifera
Osage Orange comes from a tree native to Arkansas and Texas. Its wood makes a clear lemon yellow dye.

Osage Orange Dye

Red Sandalwood
Pterocarpus antalinus
Red Sandalwood comes for a tree native to India and Indonesia. The dyesubstance is from the heartwood and yields oranges, browns and auburn shades of colour.

Red Sandalwood Dye
Tara Powder
Caesaipina Spinosa
– used as a mordant in natural dyeing of cottons and linens

Cotton Linen Mordant

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Natural Dye plants: bldye

I haven’t tried most of these, but have heard that they produce colour. If you have had success with any of these dyes please let us know by posting a message to our Facebook Group

handspun

Strawberry Blight

Latin: Chenopodium capitatum

Low lying plant with leaves spaced far apart. Where the leaf joins the stem is a cluster of bright red fruit. Use the juice of the berries for a pink/purple. Try vinegar to set the dye, or an alum mordant.

Avocado

Scrub the peels clean. Add to bath of vinegar and cream of tartar. Rosey gold. Add premordanted wool (alum)
Also try avocado pits.

Avocado Pit Dye Vat
Dyeing with Avocado Peels and Pits

Purple Cabbage

Mordants:

Alum – yellow, beige

Ammonia – pale green

Tin – lavender

Vinegar – pink, lilac

Afterbath: add washing soda dissolved in boiling water

turquoise

Red Cabbabe Socks

Black Birch

Simmer birch bark in dye bath. Add mordanted wool. Simmer.
Colour: pinkish beige

Colors and Dyes in Early Russia

Hollyhock berries

Colour: pale yellow.
(or sometimes blue!)

Hollyhock: Greenish side of Blue
Coreopsis Tinctoria

Use 1 1/2 cups of flowers per dye bath.

Mordants:

alum – antique pine

iron – dark brown

copper – chestnut brown

tin – gold

Delphinium Blossoms

Colour: sage green

Horseradish leaves

Geranium Leaves

Simmer with rusty nails or in an iron pot.
Colour: dark grey

Willow bark

Colour: Coffee cream Choke cherry

Colour: pink
Dyeing with Willow Bark

More Natural Dyes

Madder
Sandalwood
Osage Orange
Logwood
Cochineal

Natural Dye Books
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
Natural Dyes
Botanical Colour at your Fingertips
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers
Eco Colour: Botanical Dyes for Beautiful Textiles
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes

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