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Dyeing with purple plants (Bauhinia, Amaranth and Red Cabbage)

Posted by Kanchalee Ngamdamronk on

Dyeing with purple plants (Bauhinia, Amaranth and Red Cabbage)

There is a Bauhinia tree with beautiful purple flowers growing in the front yard of my house and everyday there are plenty of fallen petals on the ground.  I had been collecting these soft fragile purple petals and freezing them until I had enough to make a dye bath. I didn’t find any information about using this plant as a dye source so it was exciting to see whether or not it would work. Surprisingly, the water turned brown after soaking the flower petals for one night and the dyed results are shown below. I especially like the golden colour it produces when combined with alum mordant.

bauhinia dye

Next is red amaranth which I planted back in November. I collected some leaves to see whether I can make a dye bath out of them. The plant itself and colour of the leaves are beautiful. Although dye liquid extracted from soaking and boiling the leaves was reddish, the colours produced on cloth were soft browns and beiges. The plants are now shooting up flowers so I will start collecting them soon and see if I can also use them as a dye source.

amaranth dye

Red cabbage is another interesting plant to experiment with. The dye liquid produced from soaking and boiling is blue and so the dye results range from dark greyish blue to lilac blue.

red cabbage dye

More posts on my natural dye experiments to come soon!

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