Pokeweed Dye





My beautiful creative friend and I did a natural dying project at my house the other night.

I have let a pokeweed plant grow up in my front garden bed. It has felt like a gift; a spiritual reminder of my home.  Pokeweed grows in Portland,  but is more prevalent in Northern Michigan.  So I was well pleased when this plant decided to grow in my front yard.

The other day when my friend was over she noted the bright magenta berries and thought they would make a good dye.  So a few days later we were out there in the dark, harvesting the berries by flashlight. We then bundled them in cheesecloth and mushed them up in my biggest stainless steel pot.  This was my second natural dying project.  Both times my more experienced friends have taken the lead. Maybe someday soon I will be able to lead a dye, or do one on my own.

Check out what we got.   She dyed yarn and I dyed felting wool.  In the photos the wool is bundled in cheesecloth.  The hanging fabric is cheesecloth as well.


About Erin O'Neill

Hi, my name is Erin O'Neill. I am a part time urban homesteader and a full time homemaker and new mom. I enjoy canning my own food, crafting, raising chickens and working my bit of land. This blog is for anyone who wants to hear about the day to day struggles and successes of incorporating the old ways of life back into today's busy world.
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3 Responses to Pokeweed Dye

  1. Vickie says:

    I am inspired !!! Thank You

  2. deb poineau says:

    I need more info on how you dyed with poke weed. Did you use a mordant? I’m torn because the birds love the berries. I have a chair cover that needs dyeing, but I wash it often. would the color quickly wash out? deb

    • Erin says:

      Hi Deb,

      We did not use a mordant, but one would definitely be needed for anything that get washed regularly. Unfortunately, as I understand it, the effect will be to make this dye a yellowish tan color. At least that what happened when my friend dipped some of her dyed wool into a alum mordant bath post-dying.

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