Since prehistoric times, colors from plants have been used throughout history to enhance people's lives -- for decorating animal skins, fabrics, crafts, hair and bodies. Dyes made from plants tend to appear more subtle and muted and are used especially in coloring natural fabrics. The colors produced from each plant may vary according to the type of mortant used. Try growing a few of the following plants in your herb garden not only for their dyeing capabilities but also for their attractive flowers. Herbs are listed according to their most common dye colors.
Bloodroot, bedstraw root, madder root, oregano leaves, alkanet root
Henna leaves, lily-of-the-valley leaves, sorrel leaves, tansy shoots
Agrimony leaves & flowers, barberry stems & roots, calendula flowers, dyer’s broom tops, goldenrod blooms, mint, safflower, saffron blooms, St. John’s wort, turmeric roots, weld, yarrow flowers
Wild indigo branches, cornflower, elecampane roots, woad
Hyssop leaves, sorrel leaves, sweet cicely stems & leaves
Juniper berries, tea leaves