Natural Dyes

Next time you trim a tree or pull some weeds in the garden don’t throw them away. See what color dye you can get from it. It is really fun and surprising to see the different colors that come out. Not all green leaves produce green dye. In fact, yellow seems to be a more common color. I got gold from Red Maple leaves and brown from White Oak leaves. If you have invasive exotic plants making natural dyes is great way to get rid of them and make something fun at the same time. If you would like to learn this fun process come to our Natural Dyes class on September 24 at 2pm.

clockwise from bottom: Red Maple(gold), Japanese Climbing Fern(mint green), Chinese Tallowtree(olive brown)

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7 Responses to Natural Dyes

  1. Philippe Vidrine says:

    I am interested in baptisia false indigo ( Pock Pock plant).

  2. Philippe, There are white and yellow flowered Baptisias in Louisiana. I don’t have access to enough of either one to try to make a dye from them. The blue false indigo (Baptisia australis) is not native to Louisiana but it is native to the surrounding states so it shouldnt be hard to grow it here and you can make a blue dye from its flowers.

  3. Maria Bertrand says:

    I have seen some(yellow ones) around my camp. Are you interested in plants or what?

  4. Joe Bacon says:

    There is plenty of yellow false indigo right now along roadsides….. I gathered some recently in western Allen Parish, central Louisiana, near the town of Pitkin. I dyed some wool yarn and got a nice, woodsy green.

  5. Amanda says:

    How would I get a dark green?

    • amanda, i have gotten an olive green from Chinese Tallow tree leaves with alum. I also got a dark olive green from a sunflower plant using the leaves and stems. Green is actually not all that easy to get. if you want a true green instead of an olive green you could use a plant the makes yellow and then over dye with indigo to get green. hope that helps.

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