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Summer Dye Plants Are Popping!

Updated: Jul 10, 2021

Our garden is exploding with color! Some of these beauties make great dyes. My top two now are dyer's coreopsis & french marigolds. They are wonderful for making dye baths and ecoprints as well.

Dyer's Coreopsis (pictured above) gives an orange to a rusty red color if simmered slowly. Allow the fabric to sit in the dye bath with flowers removed if you don't want any darker marks on your piece. Coreopsis also makes nice prints (see below).

This linen piece was steamed with coreopsis flowers, stems and leaves, onion skins and marigold petals.

French marigolds are another beauty! I love softly sprinkling petals on fabric like confetti. It steams up nicely in a bundle and gives delicious colors. It also makes a dependable buttery, yellow dye. Marigold can also shift to beautiful olive tones. Below is linen soaked in marigold dye on the left and marigold dye with iron on the right.

Want to try dyeing at home, but you don't have a dye garden? Try onion skins! Yellow onion skins make an awesome dye. See samples below (right sample was dipped in iron water).

Want to learn more about natural dyeing? Next Sunday, July 18th, we are holding a Botanical Bundle Dye workshop at the Vitality Center in Sebastopol. The workshop is from 10am to noon and each participant will learn the basics of natural dyeing and make a unique silk bandana with flowers mentioned above. Several other dye plants will be discussed and used to create your one of a kind creation. Sign up at

We hope summer is treating you kindly thus far. Stay cool in this heat and keep exploring!

Peace, love and dye plants

Lisa @ SlowDigz

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