Curly dock seed

A new dye plant makes itself known! Bits of information and observation came into alignment and I realized this dark brown flag of seeds was curly dock and that it could be used as a dye. I started seeing them all along the roadside. They really stand out this time of year, among the goldenrod and asters.

Curly dock seedhead at roadside

I did a little research online: The seeds are supposed to produce a warm rosy-brown color. I had to give it a try.

Here’s a photo of showing the color of the solution after simmering but before steeping for 24 hours.

Here’s the liquid strained into another pot temporarily, next to the ivory-colored material to be dyed. Some cotton eyelet, a strip of old tablecloth, and some silk/wool blend thread wrapped around a stick.
What’s left in the pot after straining – lots of seeds, threw them on the compost
I really like the subtle color that resulted. The thread is still pretty wet and the fabric is just starting to dry.

3 Responses

  1. Liz A says:

    hmmmm … looks like a plant that we used in flower arrangements at our little church in Virginia many years ago … we preferred to arrange wildflowers and weeds, what my friend called “roadsidea,” rather than spend money on flowers … I always wondered what it was and now, looking at the descriptions, it’s no surprise to find Curly Dock is a member of the buckwheat clan

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