Continuing in dyeing experiments with Marian this time we went for a more colorful dye plant – madder roots. Madder (Rubia Tinctorum) is one of the most ancient dyes and there is plenty of literature as well as information on the web on how to dye both protein and vegetable fibres.

All literature says to keep the temperature well bellow boiling point to achieve red or salmon pink or terracotta orange/red instead of brown, so did I. I have used cca 30 g of madder powder per 190 g of fibres in total and have had them in the bath for around a week, keeping temperature anywhere ,between 40 to 80 C. The protein fibres, as usual, are the darkest, the palest is tencel/lyocell and banana fibre. All fibres were mordanted in the same way as those dyed with alkanet and logwood.

bleached and unbleached cotton muslin and gauze

all vegetable fibres: lyocell, banana fibre, hemp, linen, bamboo, viscose, ramie (clockwise, starting from lyocell the palest)

all protein fibres, from left: merino wool, tussh silk noil, tussah silk nepps, mulberry silk, trowster silk

variety of very pretty colors


7 thoughts on “Madder

  1. Lovely!!
    I think that madder is one of my favorite natural dyes (next to cochineal)

    I’m so glad that you and Marian are letting us see the results as you do them….. now, to compile all of your results into a book!!

  2. Great photos, and great colours…I love them all blended together, nature is so amazing, it goes so well with anything else natural. Thanks for posting all of these experiments, we all learn from it..

  3. Oh…The colors are wonderful!
    Thank you for posting pictures and comments of your dyeing experiments.

  4. Those colours are very pretty. I barely got any pinks… I think my vegetable fibres are very dark because they were in the pot for ages…. about 2 weeks… outside under the sun. It was a strong bath though… because I made one bath and I am still dyeing. I used 200g of crushed roots but with that I dyed everything (pics) and it is still strong so I added more raw wool, unwashed, unmordanted just…. this time with vinegar. No idea what shall happen.

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