Osage Orange Sawdust
Our osage orange sawdust has been milled from downed trees. It is a very strong dye, producing a very bright yellow on wool with an alum and tartar mordant. When indigo is overdyed with osage, it produces rich, deep greens and when iron is added to the dye bath, the color shifts to moss green.
Osage orange (Maclura pomifora) is native to Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas but has naturalized throughout many other states. It has a yellow heartwood sometimes streaked with red that makes a bright and lightfast yellow dye. Osage was one of the dyes used to make khaki colored uniforms during the first World War. In addition, it was also used as windbreaks called shelterbelts that held down the soil during the great Dust Bowl of the 1920s and 30s. Osage and other trees made natural fencing in the Great Plains region of the US. Due to its extreme durabilty, osage wood is used to make hunting bows, railroad ties, wagon wheels and fenceposts. The osage tree produces large bumpy fruits called “hedge apples:” these are not edible but contain certain anti-fungal properties from the pigment pomiferin that reduces spoilage.
100 grams will dye about 1 pound (500 grams) of fiber a bright yellow.