Dyeing with daffodils

It’s spring and daffodils are everywhere. But as the flowers fade they need to be deadheaded, so I thought I’d see if how well they act as a dye.

According to Jenny Dean’s Wild Colour, fresh flowers give a stronger colour than dried, but I had to collect the flowers over a few weeks, so I dried them until I had enough. Then I soaked them in water for a couple of days.

daffodil dyeing 1

The colour was already a deep yellow after this, but I simmered them for an hour anyway before straining out the flowers.

I added a silk top that I’d mordanted with alum and simmered for another hour, then left it overnight to soak. After washing and rinsing, the top was quite a dark mustard colour.

daffodil dyeing 2

But this lightened to a more greenish yellow when dry.

daffodil dyeing 3

Contact printing with geranium (cranesbill) leaves toned the brightness down a bit.

daffodil dyeing 4 daffodil dyeing 5

What would Wordsworth think? 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Dyeing with daffodils”

  1. Waste not, want not – good use of fading daffodils and leaves Kim. Such interesting experiments, dyeing and over-dyeing. Gorgeous!

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