Plants of Many Colors!
Here are some of the common dye plants grown at Barbolian Fields.
|Black-Eyed Susan, Coneflower||Rudbeckia fulgida||leaves & stems; flowers||fresh, dried, frozen||Leaves & stems give golds, oranges, olives; flowers give olive-brownish greens|
|Bronze Fennel||Foeniculum vulgare||whole shoots||fresh||yellow to greenish-brown|
|Comfrey||Symphytum spp.||leaves||fresh or dried||greens to browns|
|Coreopsis||C. grandiflora & C. lanceolata||whole plant tops||fresh, dried, frozen||yellow, tan gold, orange, rust, brown|
|Dahlia||Dahlia hybrids||flowers: all colors except white||fresh or frozen||yellow, golds, oranges|
|Dyer’s Chamomile, Golden Marguerite||Anthemis tinctoria||leaves, flowers||fresh, dried||Leaves give olive and light greens. Flowers give yellows and oranges|
|Dyer’s Coreopsis||Coreopsis tinctoria||tops: stems, leaves, flowers||fresh, dried, frozen||yellow, tan, gold, orange, red, brown|
|Elderberry||Sambucus spp.||leaves, bark, berries||best fresh; also dried||Leaves yield yellows-greens; barks give creamy beiges; berries give shades of purple, but not fast|
|Goldenrod||Solidago spp.||leafy shoots in early summer; flowers later||best fresh; also dried||bright yellows & golds to tans & brassy oranges; greens|
|Hollyhocks||Alcea rosea||flowers||fresh (can be stored in fridge until get enough)||Pale colors give yellows, golds, browns. Dark colors give lilacs, purples, mauves, gray-green, browns|
|Lady’s Bedstraw||Galium verum||flowers & roots||fresh or dried||Tops give yellows, oranges, yellow-green, khaki; roots give coral-reds, salmon pinks, dark browns|
|Madder||Rubia tinctorum||roots||fresh or dried||reds|
|Mahonia / Oregon Grape||Mahonia japonica||leaves, bark, berries||fresh or dried||Bark gives greenish to brown colors; leaves give yellow; berries give lilacs|
|Marigold||Tagetes erecta, T. patula, hybrids||leaves & flowers||fresh, dried, frozen||yellows, golds, oranges, tans, olive greens|
|Marjoram||Origanum majorana||tops||fresh or dried||yellows, golds, oranges, browns, gray|
|Nettles||Urtica dioica||leaves & tops||best fresh; also dried||yellow-greens, dark grens, to tans|
|Rhubarb||Rheum spp.||leaves & roots||fresh is best but also dried||Leaves give golds to greens; roots give yellows to mustards, oranges, & coral reds|
|Saffower||Carthamus tinctorius||flowers||fresh or dried||yellows, mustards, reds|
|St. John’s Wort||Hypericum perforatum||flowers||fresh||Wide variety of colors from greens to golds to reds, depending on treatment.|
|Sunflowers||Helianthus annuus||whole flower heads & seeds on some varieties||fresh||Greenish gold, tan, greens. Seeds can give dark blues, blacks, purples.|
|Weld||Reseda luteola||new leaves and flower stalks||fresh or dried||yellows, greenish-yellows, golds, tans, browns, deep olive|
|Willow||Salix sp.||bark, leafy stems||fresh||pinkish-tan, yellow, gray, golds, light brown, olive|
|Woad||Isatis tinctoria||leaves from 1st year rosettes; seeds||fresh leaves are best; can also be dried||Blues! Seeds give mauve to pale greens, tans|
|Yarrow||Achillea millefolium||leaves & tops||fresh or dried||yellows, olive greens, tans|
|Yellow Bedstraw||Galium verum||leaves, flowers, roots||fresh||Leaves & flowers give yellows; roots (fresh or dried) give corals, reds, brick|
Dye plants have been my passion for many years. I first started learning to spin wool in 1977. I started raising angora rabbits, Samoyed dogs, and llamas to support my habit. Then I started exploring natural plants to provide some variations in color. I only dye with what I can grow or sustainably wildcraft (I’m not using insects, for example). We will be adding more information on dyeing with plants in the coming year. Recently, I have also been playing around with foraged mushrooms and experimenting with eco-dyeing techniques, which is rather exciting. More on all of this in pages to come!
Availability of dye plants varies from year to year, depending on weather and other factors, but this is a list of the main ones we grow. Please contact us if you are interested.
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