Dyeing fiber with goldenrod, a common wildflower that blooms in early autumn, opens a world of natural beauty and sustainability to your projects. The beautiful color will infuse the fiber with warm, golden hues.
Why use goldenrod for dyeing?
- Abundant & Sustainable: Goldenrod is a native wildflower that’s readily available
- Vibrant Colors: From soft yellows to rich golds, goldenrod offers a versatile color palette
- Eco-Friendly: Natural dyeing with goldenrod is non-toxic and eco-friendly
Materials You'll Need
1. Goldenrod Flowers: fresh, blooming goldenrod flowers. Newly opened flowers give the best color.
2. The fiber should get washed and be free of vegetative matter (VM)
3. Mordant: Alum is the one I normally use, which is aluminum sulfate
4. Large Pot: Use a stainless steel one dedicated to dyeing; don’t reuse for food
5. Strainer or Cheesecloth: For straining the goldenrod after extracting the dye
6. Protective Gear: optional gloves and apron
The Dyeing Process
1. Prepare the goldenrod by cutting the flowers off the stems.
2. Extract the dye by simmering the goldenrod flowers for an hour, then, if you’d like, cool overnight to finish creating the dye. Once cooled remove the flowers from the dye bath by straining it, throw the flowers in your compose pile and set the dye bath aside.
3. Mordant the fiber by first soaking it for a couple of hours and then add heat and simmer it in the alum for approximately 45 minutes. Drain the fiber and remove excess water, it’s not necessary to rinse the fiber.
4. Add the fiber to the dye bath and simmer for approximately an hour.
6. Final step is to rinse the dyed fiber. If needed you can wash it again, and then lay it out to dry. Now you can use your beautifully dyed fiber for things like spinning and felting.
Goldenrod dyeing is a sustainable, eco-friendly way to infuse warmth and vibrancy into fiber. Try experimenting with concentrations to create your unique goldenrod tones. Enjoy the natural beauty of your creations and embrace the art of dyeing with this enchanting wildflower. Happy crafting!