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Dye extracts strength

        Wild Colours - Exciting colours from Natural Dyes


Wild Colours natural dyes > natural dye extracts > dye extracts strength

Strength of Natural Dye Extracts

4 shades from sorghum natural dye extract

3 shades from persian berry natural dye extract

2 shades from logwood natural dye extract

sorghum dye extract

persian berry extract

logwood dye extract

I set up an experiment to check how much wool the different extracts dyed, and how soon they became exhausted. I placed 1 gram of dye extract in a coffee jar, dissolved the extract in warm water and then put the jar in a bain marie. I had previously prepared several dozen 10-metre hanks (about 6 grams each) of handspun Bluefaced Leicester wool, mordanted with alum and with cream of tartar. I placed one pre-soaked 10-metre hank in the jar, simmered it gently for 40 minutes, turned the heat off and left the hank in the dye bath overnight. The next morning I removed that hank and added another one. I repeated this process until the final hank came out a pale colour.

Gallery of samples dyed with natural dye extracts

Most extracts produced a wide range of beautiful shades.

  • Buckthorn (Persian berries): produced 3 skeins, a bronze yellow, rich orange and pale warm yellow.
  • Chlorophyllin:  I was very impressed with this exciting extract that produced a delightful range of greens, quite different from the range of greens that I get from overdyeing woad and weld. 1 gram of chlorophyllin dyed 4 skeins ranging from forest green to sea green.
  • Cochineal extract was strong enough to dye 5 skeins with colour variation from deep rose to pale pink using rain water. The water was almost clear at the end.
  • Coreopsis: produced a warm yellow straight away and was enough for two skeins.
  • Cutch: produced one medium warm brown skein and two pale brown skeins.
  • Fustic: produced 3 skeins, ranging from a very strong rich dark yellow to peachy yellow. Those colours are very distinctive from the yellows produced by weld, greenweed or coreopsis.
  • Gallnut (oak) is mainly used as a mordant, but it produced a pale beige colour, enough for 1 skein only.
  • Greenweed: like weld, it produced no colour until I added 1 gram of calcium carbonate. A strong extract, producing 4 skeins ranging from bronze-green yellow to primrose yellow.
  • Lac: the first skein was an exciting very dark burgundy red; enough for 4 skeins.
  • Logwood:  1 gram was enough to dye 7 skeins and even then the dye was not exhausted. The first skein was purplish black, however the exaust dye bath tended to produce very attractive dark and medium browns.
  • Madder: produced a vibrant colour (temperature kept below 60C). Strong enough to dye 3-4 skeins – dark, medium, light and pale reds.
  • Pomegranate: a pale beige colour, enough for 1 skein only.
  • Sorghum: exciting very dark mauve colour, enough for 4 skeins.
  • Weld: produced no colour until I added 1 gram of calcium carbonate. Strong enough to dye two skeins, dark neon yellow and pale yellow.

Learn more about dyeing with natural dye extracts:

acacia extract

brazilwood extract

buckthorn extract

chlorophyllin extract

cochineal extract

coreopsis extract

cutch extract

fustic extract

gallnut extract

goldenrod extract

greenweed extract

lac extract

logwood extract

madder extract

myrobalan extract

persian berry extract

quebracho extract

sorghum extract

weld extract


ALL natural dye extracts

A. Why use natural dye extracts
(opens a new page)

B. How to dye with natural dye extracts
(opens a new page)

C. Instructions for each extract
(opens a new page)

D. Painting & Printing with natural dye extracts
(coming soon)

E. Gum tragacanth for natural dyes extracts
(coming soon)

F. Soy milk for natural dyes extracts
(coming soon)

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Updated on 22 April 2024
Website & photos by Mike Roberts ©2006-24 Wild Colours natural dyes


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