Here is a blog post on fabric dyeing with dandelion. It’s spring season now dandelions are blooming at its peak. Dandelions are also at its peak again during the autumn season. Plus it’s a free weed that is quite easily available. I am currently experimenting with small amounts of fibers so the number of flowers needed might change over time. Also known as Taraxacum officinale. It is native to Euroasia and North America. Dandelion the whole plant itself is edible everything from the flowers, leaves, and roots. I am now focusing it on using it as a dye plant.
There are two colors that can be extracted from the dandelion. One from the flowers and one from the leaves. From the flower is yellow and the ones from the leaves are more towards a yellow-greenish color. For fabric dyeing do use freshly harvested flowers and leaves. In the hot weather, (around 20 degrees Celcius) they tend to wilt pretty much wilt as they are harvested. The leaves will perk up as soon they soak in cold water.
One finally note about dandelion fabric dyeing is that it may be a fugitive colour which simply mean the colour will not last forever. This is very common in food products use in fabric dyeing.
Fabric dyeing with dandelion
I did use about 20 closed flower buds and open flower buds in my experiment on fabric dyeing with dandelion. I have taken the stem away and save it for dyeing with leaves separately. Wash and clean then it is put to boil with the least water possible for about 15 minutes. This is to extract the color from the dandelion flowers. then I add the fabrics and boil again. I am sure there is plenty of ways to add more color perhaps by leaving it to cool overnight something in which I didn’t do this time.
As usual do prepare the fabric ahead of time for pre mordant dyeing process. I use jam jar with mordant in it. This so I can hopefully reuse them for latter fabric dyeing experiments.
Using mordants and different fibres
I use 4 different types of dyeing. there are the following:
Mordant after (post dye) with iron
Pre dyeing mordant with alum
Pre dyeing mordant with alum then post dye with iron mordant.
I have use cellulose fiber which is cotton. For animal/ protein fibers I use wool and silk. The cotton is on cotton fabric. The wool looks like a wool yarn thread and the silk is on a rope-like spun fibre thread.
Here is the results of fabrics dyed with dandelion flowers
I also prepare another dye pot separately this time with just the dandelion leaves alone. this time I also boil the leaves then add the fabrics and let it boil again.
The results are the dye experiments with dandelion leaves alone following the same dye process as the flowers.