Post #3252: Yellow and Brown Natural Dyes

Above photo illustrates colour comparison in yarn left to right: Cutch, Lobaria Pulmonaria, Myrobalan, Osage orange, Fustic – all using Knitpicks Gloss, fingering weight as base. Details on each below.

Today I am cooking up a pot of red dye (madder) as I shift into the next round of natural dye experimentation. The last eight days or so has been devoted to browns and yellows which I round up for you here.


Dyed at 30% WOF. Left to right – Alum mordant on cotton, Alum acetate mordant on Cotton, Shifted with Iron at 4% WOF. Yarn mordanted with Alum.


Dyed at 25% WOF using extract. Top to bottom: Cotton mordanted with alum acetate, cotton mordanted with alum, soda ash rinse (golden sample), shifted with iron @4% (brown-grey). I plan to overdye most of this with Indigo to get teal. We’ll see how that goes.

Osage orange

Dyed at 30% WOF, whole dyestuff soaked overnight. Cotton mordanted with alum on bottom, with aluminum acetate in middle. Had black flecks on the fabric which I believe is due to contamination from ferrous sulphate. Plan to shift this with indigo to get greens.


Dyed the least amount of stuff with fustic which turned out to be my favourite colour by far! Dyed at 30% WOF using whole dye stuff soaked overnight. Am definitely going to dye more fibre with this – a couple skeins for a fall knitting project at least.

Lobaria pulmonaria

I somehow did not manage to record the WOF here, but I made a dye pot with 50 grams of dried lichen wildcrafted by my friend Jennifer. As you can see, the fabric didn’t take up much dye but the yarn sure did. Shifted with iron, the cotton became a beautiful grey (I reused an iron bath here so I don’t have %WOF). 

One Comment on “Post #3252: Yellow and Brown Natural Dyes

  1. Yellow and brown seem to be the most frequent natural dye colour results. I had a very indifferent result with nettles – not the bright green I was hoping for at all, more like pale khaki. I’ve given up. But good luck to you 😀

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