03 September 2013


I've grown Hopi Dye sunflowers in the past, but never got around to using them for natural dyeing.  This year, I decided to try using my Moulin Rouge sunflowers with some natural colored peace fleece wool (Thanks, Tonya!)

Using some info from my great find (50% off at a local bookstore), I simmered the sunflowers (and stems) for about 30 minutes.  Then I let the dye bath cool.  
Meanwhile, I put my (already wet) wool into a mordant bath with alum and cream of tartar.  Seems like there is a lot of variation for how much to use, but I used 6 g cream of tartar and 18 g alum for 100 g of wool.  This simmered for about an hour.  I was careful to heat it slowly and not stir the wool much for fear of felting.  
Now, being inexperienced and not finding info easily, I tried to remove excess water and then put the wool into my dye bath.  I let it soak for 20-30 minutes and then gently rinsed it.  

I wish more of the purple color stayed, but it's mostly a grey color now.

Please feel free to chime in with any insights or advice for me.  I haven't dyed wool naturally since college (!!) and I've never used sunflowers before.


  1. I think it turned out beautifully, purple, but not over the top purple. Just the way I personally like my colours to turn out. Just look out,'s addictive. Soon you will be looking at every plant wondering what colour it will give.

  2. It looks great, just the perfect hue I think. I have no advice, I am reading this in awe, hoping one day I will give this a try.


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