Weld for Natural Dyeing

Written by [email protected] on May 25, 2008 in Natural Dye Plants

The first weld plants are beginning to ripen. Here is a picture of some hanging up to dry.

Weld Drying

Weld is the plant on the right, the other is flax for linen thread. Flax is growing like a weed in the hay pastures this year, where last year there was none. The shutter by the way is painted with woad.

The weld plant is ready for harvest just before the flower shoot really gets going. Here the buds are still tight and the plant is still relatively compact, if left to grow they would probably have shot another foot or so.

These plants were grown from seed sown last August. After four years I have realised it is the only way to grow Weld in a climate with a dry, hot summer.

They shoot up to flower at the first sign of the sun in the spring because they have experienced frost over the winter. in a warmer winter climate they might have grown on for a further year. But this suits me. I do like to leave them to have as much sun as possible before harvesting as i think this increases the percentage of dye content.

I use weld extensively in my dyeing, it is the basis of all the yellows, greens, olives, oranges, turquoises and even some greys.

And weld is very, very, light-fast, when used properly.

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Discussions: 2 comments

Comments

Peggy

Peggy on 06/25/2011 11:32 a.m.

Is there a web site that sells weld plants. After two pkgs and no germination, am frustrated. We are trying to set up a demo garden for a fall course in Biology and Art. Got Woad plants, Madder and we also planted seeds. We have tons of marigolds and dark Blue petunias to experiment with.Students will also test local plants: goldenrod, poke weed, others.

We've never even made a vat of anything. I am a painter, partner is Biologist.

Iris

Iris on 02/23/2012 2:42 p.m.

Peggy, I am trying to develop course just like yours! I am the biologist. Can we get in touch and compare notes? Iris

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