A short -lived perennial herb, with aromatic, silvery-green, feathery foliage. Collecting the flower head regulary from spring to autumn provides masses of wonderful flowers for drying and dyeing.
Dyer’s chamomile is a wonderful perennial dye plant. It is very pretty – easy to grow and dries well.
Dyer’s chamomile was used as a dye in Medieval times – but not as often as weld.
Dyer’s chamomile yields a warmer lemony yellow colour compared to weld and is a lovely base for over-dying especally on silk and wool. You will need to use large amounts of flower heads to make a good yellow:-
200 – 400 grams of dried flower heads per 100g of wool or silk.
Simmer the flower heads for 1 hour.
Add pre-wetted mordanted fibre to dyebath and simmer for another hour or until you have achieved the desired colour.
Remove from heat source.
Rinse. Wash. Rinse.
Dry out of direct sunlight.
Add 1/2 teaspoon of chalk (calcium carbonate) for a stronger yellow.
Produces a beautiful green when over-dyed with woad.