Herbal Dyes and Inks

This section represents some of the dyes and inks used by Whispering Woods coven and is in no way meant to be conclusive.

Red:

Pokeberries - Boil the berries with vinegar to produce a long lasting reddish-brown color.
Use as a dye or ink.

Beets - In 1 gallon of water, boil 6 large red beets until water becomes dark red, add gum arabic a little at a time until ink is right consistency.

Alder - boil 1 pound of bark for 2 hours. Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum. Boi; for 10 minutes more

Yellow:

Goldenrod - Boil the leaves and flowers for a yellow dye

Horse Radish - Dry the leaves out and then boil for a yellow dye

Wild Celery - For a light yellow dye, harvest the flowers and leaves during June and July. In a tin or aluminum vessel add 5 gals. of water. Boil 1 pound of wild celery for 2 hours. Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum and boil for 10 minutes more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn and boil for 15 minutes. Remove and rinse materal.

Gaillardia (Indian Blanket) - Harvest the flowers, leaves and stems in June. Using an enamel or stone pot, add 5 gals. of water. Boil the plant parts for 2 hrs. Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum. and boil for 10 mins. more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn and boi for 2 hrs. Steep overnight, remove and rinse material.

Sunflower - Boil the flowers for a yellow dye.

Orange:

Ground Lichen - Use either fresh or dried lichen. If fresh, scrape from underneath a sagebrush after a rain. In 4 gals. of water, boil 1 pound of lichen for 1 hr. Strain and add 1/4 cp of raw alum and boil for 15 minutes more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn and boil for 30 minutes. Remove and rinse. For a darker orange, boil for 1 hr. and steep overnight.

Queen Annes Lace - Boil the roots for an orange dye.

Sassafras - Dry the bark out and pulverize into a powder. Boil in 5 gals. of water until water turns dark orange. Add 1/4 cup of raw alum to maitain color and boil for another 15 minutes.

Green:

Oregon Grape - Harvest the leaves and vines during the Fall. In a stone vessel add 5 gals. of water and 4 pounds of leaves and vines and boil for 2 hrs. Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum and boil for 10 minutes more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn, stir well and steep overnight. Remove and rinse.

Alder - Boil 1 pound of catkins in 5 gals. of water for 2 hrs. Strain and add 1/4 cup of alum and boil for 10 more minutes.

Silver Birch - Boil 1 pound of leaves in 4 gals. of water for 2 hrs. Strain and add 1/4 cup of alum and boil for 10 more minutes.

Bracken - Boil 1 pound of leaves in 5 gals. of water for a green dye.

Blue:

Red Cabbage - Boil the leaves in 5 gals. of water, strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum. Boil for 10 more minutes.

Black Raspberries - Boil 1 pound of berries in 5 gals. of water. Strain and add 1/4 cup of raw alum and boil for 10 more minutes.

Pink:

Sweet Joe Pye - Boil the buds for a pink dye. Start with a 1/4 pound of buds in 1 gal. of water until desired color is obtained.

Maroon:

Sunflower seeds - To make this dye, in 8 cups of water, boil 2 - 3 cups of sunflower seeds. Strain and add 1/4cup of raw alum. Add more water as needed and boil for 15 minutes more. Add 1 pound of wet yarn, mix and steep overnight. Remove and rinse.

Magenta:

Boil the roots of the dandelion for this color of dye.

Tan:

Indian Paintbrush - Harvest flowers in June and July. In a stone or enamel pot, pour cold water over 4 pounds of flowrs ( enough to cover them ). Let soak for 2 days and then mash the flowers. Add 1 pound of wet yarn and steep for one week, mixing often. Remove and rinse thoroughly.

Brown:

Black Walnut - In a large heavy duty bag, place fresh walnut shells and/orhulls. The bag will begin to fill up with a sepia liquid. Pour this off ( use caution, as this will stain your hands ) and add vinegar until mixture is right consistency. Use as a dye or ink. Or as a natural stain for wood.

Juniper - Boil 1 pound of berries in 5 gals. of water to produce a brown dye. Adding a 1/4 cup of raw alum will help sustain the dye. Just strain and add alum and boil for 10 - 15 minutes more.



" From Mother Earth we taketh, and to Her we shall return "





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