DAYS TO HARVEST
USES & COOKING SUGGESTIONS
Best used to dye wool (from any wool-producing animal) and silk, not great on cotton or other plant fibers. Pick the flowers as they are in full bloom, you can dry them until you have enough for dyeing, or to use for later. Continuing to pick the flowers before they set seed encourages more flowering. When you have plenty of flowers, or about half the dry weight of the fiber in dried flowers, about equal weights for fresh flowers, mordant your fiber. We recommend cold-mordanting your wool or silk overnight in a 2% alum solution (this usually includes some cream of tartar as well.) Soak your fibers in this solution overnight, then thoroughly drain and gently squeeze out the excess liquid. Also soak your flowers overnight in a pot of water large enough to hold your fiber as well, leaving enough room to add the fiber without spilling the dye. Add the drained and squeezed fiber to the pot and gently heat, allowing to simmer for at least one hour. Adding a little acidity (vinegar or lemon) will make the colors more yellowy, adding some base (such as soda ash) will bring out the more orangey-red colors. After heating, you can leave the fibers in the pot while it cools, then drain and thoroughly rinse your fibers until the water runs clear. We like to use some sheep shampoo or wool wash for this.