Dyeing with Yellow Dock Seeds

by Cynthia on August 31, 2012

yellow dock seed stalk
yellow dock in seed
golden harvest yarn

I had this post all written up in my head two weeks ago and then that horrible, nasty, evil stomach bug entered my home. Finally, finally I can now say everyone- all six of us are now feeling more normal. I am trying to return the home to life as it was before the nasty bug knocked us all down. I actually considered scrapping this post as I just lost so much steam after I became sick. But I have received such warm and lovely responses about this yarn after Ginny’s blog post on her experience using this natural dye and so I decided to go forward and type up what was in my head. I apologize to anyone that might have been waiting for this post. I know I had promised it to some of you.

Yellow dock is a rather common weed to some but a medicinal herb to others. I have long used the roots in my herbal teas and syrups to help with anemia and liver function. The leaves are also edible as this website states. That site also mentions how the seeds are viable for up to 80 years! No wonder this plant can be found growing all over!

Yellow Dock Seeds as a Natural Dye

 

  • 1- 4 ounce skein wool yarn that has a mordant of alum and cream of tartar applied to it
  • 4 ounces of dried and brown (see photo for what they looked like when I harvested mine) yellow dock seed stalks, chopped

Gently simmer your yellow dock seeds for approximately 60 minutes. Allow to cool completely before straining. I allowed mine to sit for an entire 24 hours before I strained my dye bath. Add your wet and premordanted yarn to your dye and simmer for approximately 60 minutes. Again, allow to cool before handling your yarn. Gently rinse in warm soapy water. Hang to dry and enjoy your yarn that was naturally dyed from a common “weed”!

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Meryl September 1, 2012 at 10:10 am

That color is awesome. It’s soft, but really saturated–gorgeous!

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Cynthia September 1, 2012 at 2:23 pm

thanks Meryl! I really love the shade I was able to achieve too! :)

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megan September 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

i found your blog via small things and i was so delighted when i visited your etsy shop and saw that you live in the same town that i do! small world.

my family and i spotted this on a little hike we did at the local nature refuge. it was neat to see them and know they would make such a pretty dye, thanks to your blog post that i had read a day earlier. i look forward to getting into dyeing, especially with plants and such, but with a newborn and a toddler right now, i have my hands full. one day, though! in the meantime, i can gaze fondly at your pretty yarns :)

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