Shaina Shealy wrote a great article a while back on Rubina Magazine. Her take on five unexpected natural sources of dye are a fun read still.
“Natural dyes are magical. Ordinary plants and roots are transformed into a spectrum of evolving shades and textures; their colors vary depending on the fibers they are applied to, the mordants (fixing agents) that are used to set their colors and, yes, elements of weather such as humidity or cold. And in addition to the magic, many people have turned to natural dyes in order to fight today’s environmental and human health crises. Natural dyes don’t use harsh, toxic chemicals and require minimal resources.
Many innovators in the field of natural dye are chemists and engineers. The endless formulas of mordants that react differently with various colors and quantities are mindboggling. Did you know when you mix cow urine with Indigo, it increases its color fastness? Or that Copper brings out green color in dyes? Me neither.”
Read the full article here.