Each August, the fields around our farm turn a bright yellow with Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis). Known as a weed to some and highly desirable as a dye source to others, this plant is naturalized to our climate and soils and grows happily along the roadsides and in meadows that surround our farm. We forage it from the periphery of our field and from neighbours who are happy to see it go to good use! We harvest the flowers just as they are beginning to open, tie them in bunches, and hang them to air dry in the loft of our barn – always leaving plenty in the field for the bees to enjoy. Goldenrod dyes a beautiful warm cream to a rich sunny yellow. It can be overdyed with indigo to create a gorgeous range of vibrant greens.
Key Dye Colours: Warm cream, yellow, earth green
Dye Process: Colour is extracted by bringing to a gentle simmer until the water turns a rich yellow.
Weight of Fibre (WOF): Use at 30% for a rich medium shade. For a darker colour, use more; for a lighter colour, use less. A small bag will dye ~100g of fibre and a large bag will dye ~330kg of fibre. A typical wool skein is 100g.
Key Modifiers: Iron produces an earthy olive green. Overdyeing with indigo produces vibrant greens.
Overall Colourfastness: Good.
Goldenrod creates a wonderful warm yellow from a readily available local plant source. Why not make beautiful things with it?
Natural colour grown with care
This natural plant dye was grown with care on our small farm in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. All of our dye plant material is dried on site immediately after harvest to preserve quality and maximum vibrancy of colour.
Natural dyes can only be used on natural fibres (cotton, linen, wool, bamboo, hemp, silk). For best results, natural fibres should be pre-prepared using a mordant or tannin before dyeing. Natural dyes and mordants are available in our online store.
Natural dyes create unique living colours that will evolve and wear over time as they are washed, worn, and loved creating colours and garments that are alive, telling the story of their use. While they are not as consistently repeatable or as durable as many synthetic dyes, they are far more environmentally friendly and, in our opinion, absolutely unmatched in magic and beauty. If you are new to natural dyes, we have a free guide to getting started with natural dyes.
Our Goldenrod dye is foraged from our farm and from nearby meadows where friends and neighbours have welcomed our harvests.