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Dye With Yarrow

Achillea millefolium

Yarrow is another plant that enjoys the same kind of conditions that mullein likes. It a lacy looking perennial, growing to about 1 foot high. The flower heads yield another yellow dye in a different tone than mullein.

Yarrow has a good colourfastness with an alum mordant. It contains luteolin the same fast compound found in weld.

  1. Extract the yellow dye compounds from the yarrow flowers using a mildly alkaline dye bath.
  2. Simmering the flower heads alone will yield yellows, modifiers such as iron will give olive/green shades.
  3. Pre-mordant your fibre with alum.
  4. Cover the flower heads with water in your dye bath and simmer gently for 1 hour.
  5. Turn off heat and leave to cool.
  6. Soak the fibre in water in a separate container whilst the dyebath is cooling.
  7. Strain – compost flower heads.
  8. Return strained liquid back into dye pot and add 1 teaspoon of soda ash.
  9. Stir well.
  10. Add mordanted and wetted yarn to dye bath – gently submerge.
  11. Raise temperature to 180 degrees F and simmer for 1 hour.
  12. Turn off heat and leave to cool.
  13. Rinse well.
  14. Dry in the shade.

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