I am dyeing batches of fibres and fabrics with natural yellow dye. Some of these will remain yellow but most will be turned green.
Many many plants give yellow dyes. It is probably the most common natural dye colour. The chemicals involved in the dyeing process vary and are quite complicated. One group of chemicals are known as flavonoids, which are split into the flavones and the flavonols. There are also the isoflavones, the chalcones and the Aurones groups. If this isn’t complicated enough there are also carotenoids which give yellow to orange colourants and not surprisingly are found in carrots.
Natural yellow dye from alder cones
I love collecting Alder cones, filling my pockets with them whilst out on a walk, especially at this time of the year. Once they have been collected they can be stored and used anytime. Extraction of the dye is easy. The cones are high in tannins, contain red dye and also yellow flavonoids. Historically they were used with iron to make black dye and also used for red and yellow dyes. There is an interesting blog by fiery felts testing the variety of colours obtained from alder cones
Here is the natural yellow dye, quite a pinky yellow, I obtained from my stored alder cones.
Natural yellow dye from marigolds
Last year in my small dye garden I planted some French marigolds.
They enjoyed their sunny spot and flowered profusely. I regularly removed the blooms and left them to dry.
Marigolds contain carotenoids, and unbelievably it is estimated that nature produces 3.5 tonnes of carotenoids every second.
Here are the yellows I obtained from using my marigolds as a natural yellow dye.
I will be definitely growing them again this year but I am a bit sorry I didn’t save some seeds from last years crop.
Natural yellow dye from golden rod
In the summer of 2015 I was living in the Netherlands. Nearby our houses sandwiched between the village and the highway was a recreational area. Ponds, trees and fields. Here I found golden rod growing in abundance.
I picked it and it has been stored ever since. It has given me a lovely lemony yellow dye.
The dye components present in golden rod are flavonoids. I am not aware of any golden rod growing locally . It is quite an invasive species but I have bought some roots to grow. I have planted them in an area of my garden where I hope I will be able to keep them under control.
All the chemical information in this blog has been obtained from the book Natural dyes by Dominique Cardin. This book helps me to shed light on the truly complicated and fascinating chemistry of natural dyeing.GREAT POST click here to follow blog by email