FEEDBACK FRIDAY: This Week in Natural Dye Questions

This week: Tackling “madder dust” and brightening logwood.

Each week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Here are a handful from this week answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors:

Do you strain the madder bits out beforehand? I did not and it seems near impossible to get all the madder “dust” out of the yarn.

I do strain ground madder, or pile it all into a mesh bag with a zipper before adding it to my soak bath prior to dyeing.  It keeps most of the madder sediment and particles from sticking to fuzzy wool yarns.


I’m wondering if you might have any tips for me. I’ve been trying to dye silk purple with logwood and can only get grey so far. It works great on other fibers but I can’t seem to get purple on silk!

Make sure you are mordanting with aluminum sulfate only. If you use Cream of Tartar along with aluminum sulfate, you can change the color of logwood from purple to a brown-gray shade.