How to Get Pantone’s 2016 Color(s) Of The Year With Natural Dyes

pantone 2016

For the first time Pantone introduced not one but TWO shades for 2016 Color of the Year: Rose Quartz and Serenity.  Pantone describes the colors:

Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in these turbulent times.

Pantone uses words like “balance, calming, wellness, duality and compatible” to describe this shade.

Luckily for natural dyers, Rose Quartz and Serenity are both within our reach.  Rose Quartz is a soft pink with a hint of a yellow base and Serenity is an almost lilac blue.  Botanical Colors offers its take on Rose Quartz and Serenity with natural dye recipes to keep you on trend for 2016.

General Dye Instructions:

Scour and mordant fabric or yarn.  Click here for scour and mordant instructions. 

Measure and dissolve dye extracts and add them to a dye pot filled with enough cold water so your goods can move easily.

Add goods to the dye pot and make sure they are submerged in the dye solution.

Heat the dye pot to 90°F and hold for 15 minutes, gently rotating the goods.

Raise the heat to 160°F and hold for 30 minutes while continuing to rotate the goods.

Carefully remove the goods using protective gloves as they will be hot.  Let cool and rinse, then allow to dry away from direct sunlight.

If you are a total natural dye newbie, I recommend you try these colors on wool or silk fibers first and use Saxon Blue rather than create an indigo vat.

Rose Quartz

.25% Quebracho Rojo

.5%  Lac Extract mixed with a pinch of citric acid

Dissolve each color separately using 1-2 cups very hot water for each color.  Once dissolved, lac will have some sediment at the bottom of the container.  Let the sediment settle out and do not add to the dye pot.  Then follow the instructions above to


We have two versions of Serenity.  The first uses Saxon Blue (Liquid Indigo) combined with Rose Quartz to make a stunning blue-lavender color very close to Pantone’s Serenity. The second uses a traditional indigo vat to create a soft blue shade over-dyed on the Rose Quartz base.

Serenity for Wool, Alpaca and Silk Fibers

Use the Rose Quartz recipe above

.5% Saxon Blue Liquid Indigo

Add the three prepared dyes to the dye pot.  Follow the instructions for Rose Quartz and dilute the Saxon Blue with a small amount of hot water.

Serenity for Cotton, Linen and Tencel Fibers

Dye the fabric or yarn with the Rose Quartz recipe, above.

Create a very light indigo vat using 1/8th cup of stock solution to charge the vat.  The vat will appear very light and transparent.  Balance the vat and when it is ready, dip the Rose Quartz dyed goods in the vat for 30 seconds.  Repeat the dip to achieve Serenity!