Ask a Question forum: Flowers for making dyes

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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Mar 6, 2018 2:43 PM CST
Are there any flowers, herbs, etc. that are especially good for making dyes? I read that coreopsis can be used and heard a rumor about yarrow as well.

Any ideas?
Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Mar 6, 2018 3:10 PM CST
Coreopsis make bright yellow with a hint of orange or green, depending upon flower color
Yarrow is also yellowish/greenish
California Poppy roots make orange
Indigo makes blue die but you have to ferment it
Tree lichen makes brown, yellow or blue grey depending upon type
Cabbage and beets make purplish brown
You can also use blackberries, onion skins, coffee and tea...
There is a type of Scale Insect called Cochineal that is used for bright red

All color results depend upon the mordant used.

There are lots of good books on natural dyes. A good one is "The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes" by Sasha Duerr. It includes lists of plants and recipes for making the dye.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1604690712/
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost

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North Central TX (Zone 8a)
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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tx_flower_child
Mar 6, 2018 8:58 PM CST
Thanks, Daisy. After I posted the question I noticed that there were a couple articles about dyes in the NGA library. It's all very interesting. I had a book on dyes from my undergrad days that I toted around for years. (It was a skinny book.) I think I finally gave it away.

Question about the Yarrow. Is that the white yarrow? I know that there's a yellow one and one that I think is called 'paprika'.

I can think of a lot of berries and veggies and foods in general that have stained some of Ms. Missy Eater's clothes, especially white blouses. Sigh.

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