Friday, October 05, 2012

shades of madder

Dyeing with madder, Rubia tinctorum, has been a magical adventure for me.

It is magical because madder offers a colour palette from 
light to dark orange, red, burgundy, pink to dark pink.
depending on a acidic or a alcali-basic dye bath
which will give different shades.
(Orenburg silk mohair)

Poll Dorset yarn, dyed with madder
left : acidic dye bath - right basic dye bath

Orenburg silk mohair, lace merino, 
even the wall was painted with madder

You can use vegetal dyes for other purposes too. 
This orange wall was painted with madder

here's the recipe 

100 grams madder powder 

100 grams fine wood ash 

20 grams soap flakes 

50 grams beeswax 

Put the madder and the wood ash with water in a pan 

Warm up till just before boiling 

Filter this liquid in a cloth mesh 

add the soap and the beeswax, mix well 

keep this mixture warm in bain-marie, 

don’t let it boil ! 

when everything is well mixed you can used this mixture 

lukewarm to paint the wall 

the next day you can polish it with a soft cloth 



  1. Wat bijzonder mooie, warme foto's.......

  2. Absolutely beautiful !

  3. This is amazing! Thank you for sharing the recipe!
    I just found your blog via Pinterest (some of your beautiful dyed yarn).
    Im really enjoying myself here :)
    Mona from Denmark

    1. You're welcome Mona :)

    2. I'm going to try this, but am unsure of the amount of water needed. How much approximately do you use? And have you tried other dyes? I think perhaps alkanna root, and maybe hazel leaves ...