Plants at the Dye Barn

Here are three of the four major dye plants we are growing at our dye barn and gardens:

Sulphur Cosmos which gives a splendid orange:
And purple pincushion which is one of the ph sensitive dye plants, ranging from yellow to chartreuse and green — all the way to forest green.
Finally, our staple, indigo (Persicaria tinctoria):
We grew indigo mainly in these beds for the purpose of extracting powdered dye. The intensity of the indigo color depends on the amount/quality of the animal nitrogen (manure) in the soil.
Now we are buying our indigo from the pros: Stony Creek, Maiwa, Botanical Colors.
We use fresh leaf for processes that extract the color in shades of teal/aqua. Glorious!
Three seasons ago, we planted dyers chamomile without much of a sense of what we’d get..aside from yellow.
Looks like our instincts are sound. Chamomile gives a more golden/sunny yellow than the lemony standard, weld.
Last year we transplanted the chamomile after its first season of nursery. Next year, we may choose to create a mini field just for chamomile.
We remove flowers from stems. And then weigh them.
We are using a formula of 4:1, (1) one being the weight of fiber (WOF.)
As we are using 4×5″ raw silk squares, 12 of these came to about 1.5 ounces. (A very small amount.). We used over 5 ounces of flower heads. We mordanted the silk in Aluminum Sulphate.
Here we are making the dye vat, holding the flowers at 180 degrees for an hour: