Natural dyeing

Dye sheet

Notes on dyeing with madder and osage.

I spent way too much time on Saturday searching for plants and/or seeds for natural dyeing. Long ago I bought madder plants from Richter Seeds in Canada. The madder plants did very well until the drought. Richter’s no long has madder plants or seeds, and evidently no one has plants. Looks as though I’ll have to start some from seeds myself. I’ve grown weld from seed relatively easily, but the leaves of the weld plant are used for dyeing. With madder, the roots are used, and it takes several years for them to get to a good size to harvest. So, is it worth it to grow them from seed?

I’ve also wanted to grow indigo, another plant to start from seed. I ran across a Donna Hardy’s blog about growing indigo in South Carolina, where there was an indigo industry a century ago. Until I read the blog, I had no idea that indigo could get so tall–9-10 feet! Botanical Colors is hosting a 3-day indigo retreat in Charleston, South Carolina. Check it out here. Donna is a part of the retreat. Botanical Colors has some interesting topics in their blog also.

Something I ran across while trying to find dye plants and seeds is this article from the NYTimes. Check it out. It includes many pictures with the article.

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