Natural Dye: Rhododendron

A recipe for making a natural plant dye using Rhododendron leaves, producing shades of yellow, orange and green depending on the mordants used.

 Difficulty Level: Average
Time Required: 2 days

Here’s How:

  1. Premordant wool with alum, tin, blue vitriol or vinegar.
  2. Remove some leaves from the Rhododendron plant. Chop the leaves into small pieces. Soak overnight in cold water.
  3. Heat the dyebath, keeping the temperature below 200 degrees F (95 deg. C). Hotter temperatures can turn fresh leaves to brown or tan colours.
  4. Simmer dyebath for 1 hour.
  5. Add the premordanted wool and simmer for an hour or until sufficient colour is obtained.
  6. Allow the dyebath to cool.
  7. Remove the dyed wool, rinse and let dry.

Tips:

Using different mordants will produce different colours. Alum- yellow, Blue vitriol – gold, Tin – orange, Iron – khaki, olive green, Vinegar – beige.

Natural Dyes Index
How To Make an Alum Mordant
How To Make a Tin Mordant
Natural Dyes and Mordant Recipes

Natural Dye Books
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
Botanical Colour at your Fingertips
The Modern Natural Dyer: A Comprehensive Guide to Dyeing Silk, Wool, Linen and Cotton at Home
A Weaver’s Garden: Growing Plants for Natural Dyes and Fibers

The Rainbow Beneath My Feet: A Mushroom Dyer’s Field Guide
Harvesting Color: How to Find Plants and Make Natural Dyes
A Heritage of Colour: Natural Dyes Past and Present by Jenny Dean (2014-06-10)
Wild Color, Revised and Updated Edition: The Complete Guide to Making and Using Natural Dyes
The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use


EBAY – NATURAL DYES
NATURAL DYES – US
NATURAL DYES – UK

Last Updated on April 15, 2021 by Paivi Suomi

By Paivi Suomi

I've had an interest in weaving, looms, yarns and textiles since I was a small child. I learned to knit, crochet, sew, do needlepoint at my mother's knee. My grandmother was a Saami from northern Norway. I am very interested in studying more about traditional Saami and Finnish style weaving and handicrafts. Paivi Suomi