Dyeing is something that happens with great regularity here at The Fibre Garden. John (Dyeguy) keeps the kettles busy with yarns and fibres for the shop and website, as well as doing custom orders. We now have Gaywool and Bush Blends acid dyes here in the store and shopping cart. Soon we will add some other lines of acid dyes then fibre reactives after that.

Our selection of nature dyes will hopefully also be of interest. Check out our listings for Mordants and Additives as well. We are sure you will find our prices on these to be competitive. We’ve priced them by weight and basically the larger the size, the better the unit price.

Alum (Aluminum sulphate)
Alum (Aluminum sulphate)
Used as a MORDANT in natural dyeing, which allows the plant pigments to bond with the fibres. This is Potassium aluminum sulphate, the preferred form of alum for use as a mordant. This IS NOT pickling alum and should not be consumed. Used mainly on protein fibres such as wool, alpaca, silk. Usually used in combination with cream of tartar. Many natural dyers do a premordanting of the fibre with alum, while others add it directly to the dyebath (particularly with loose fibre such as fleece). Also sometimes used in combination with tannic acid to premordant cellulose fibres such as cotton. TO USE: calculate mordant required for 8 to 15% WOF (weight of fibre) and 4 to 6% WOF cream of tartar. Weigh and dissolve in hot water. Fill pot with sufficient water for the fibre to move, add alum and cream of tartar and stir. Enter fibre. Bring to 180-200°F and hold 1 hour. Stir yarns frequently but fleece only occasionally. Cool overnight, then wash in soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Dye immediately or dry the yarns to dye later. Spent mordant solution may be safely disposed of down the drain (except for septic systems). It also may be poured around garden plants that prefer acidic soil conditions. CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders. Wear gloves when using alum, particularly when rinsing or handling wet yarns as it is very drying to the skin. Best done outdoors or with very good ventilation.
$2.20$7.20 Select options
Aluminum acetate
Aluminum acetate
Used as a MORDANT in natural dyeing, which allows the plant pigments to bond with the fibres. NOT THE SAME AS ALUM!! Aluminum acetate is used as a one-step mordant on cellulose (plant) fibres such as cotton, linen and well worth experimenting with on rayon fibres (including Tencel), bamboo, ramie, hemp and others. This is a more expensive but faster means to get natural dyes to stick without the more traditional alum/tannic acid premordanting method. TO USE: weigh dry fibre and scour if needed (especially cotton). Calculate mordant required for 5% WOF (weight of fibre). Weigh and dissolve in hot water. Fill pot with sufficient water for the fibre to move, add mordant and stir. Enter fibre. Bring to 190-200°F and hold 1 hour. Stir yarns frequently. Cool overnight, then wash well. Dye immediately or dry for later. Spent mordant solution may be safely disposed of down the drain (except for septic systems). It also may be diluted and poured on the ground, for instance on a gravel driveway or path. CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders. Wear gloves when handling powder or solutions, particularly when rinsing or handling wet yarns. Best done outdoors or with very good ventilation.
$8.69$15.80 Select options
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Annatto Seeds
Seeds from a South American plant, Bixa orellana, widely used as in commercial food colourings, an ornamental where hardy, and the seeds are used in various cuisines to colour food. It's actually the pulp that surrounds the seeds that supplies the colour. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Produces various shades of yellow to orange-yellow and can be modified with mordants. Pre-mordanting recommended. Use at 30-40% WOF for medium shades. TO USE: soak seeds for several days or up to a week in a jar of water or vinegar and shake daily. Simmer in the soaking water/vinegar at 190-200°F for 1 hour. Cool overnight and strain. Add more water if necessary and enter wet, pre-mordanted fibre. Hold at a 180-190°F for one hour, then cool overnight in the dyebath. Light and washfastness: fair with a mordant. Keep wash temperatures cool and expect some dye run.
$2.75$11.25 Select options
Ashford Rainbow Wool Dye Kit – 3-pack 10g
Ashford Rainbow Wool Dye Kit – 3-pack 10g
Canadian orders only.

This sampler kit contains 10g containers of three primary colours: scarlet, blue and yellow. Basic instructions included. The dyes are safe and easy-to-use but please refer to the Dye Safety/Handling Information on the Ashford Consumer Information page.

- the 3 colours can be mixed into an endless array of other tones.
- each 10g container is enough to dye 1kg (2.2 Lbs) of yarn or fibre to a medium-strong shade.

PLEASE NOTE: we find the Ashford Scarlet dye to lean VERY orange. Some dyers tone it down with a tiny bit of blue to achieve more traditional true red tones.

$28.75 Add to cart
Ashford Wool Dye Collection – 12-pack 10g
Ashford Wool Dye Collection – 12-pack 10g
Canadian orders only.

This sampler kit contains 10g containers of twelve colours: Yellow, Scarlet, Emerald, Rust, Teal, Green, Hot Pink, Blue, Brown, Purple, Navy Blue, and Black. Basic instructions included. The dyes are safe and easy-to-use but please refer to the Dye Safety/Handling Information on the Ashford Consumer Information page.

- the 12 colours can be mixed into an endless array of other tones.
- each 10g container is enough to dye 1kg (2.2 Lbs) of yarn or fibre to a medium-strong shade.

PLEASE NOTE: we find the Ashford Scarlet dye to lean VERY orange. Some dyers tone it down with a tiny bit of blue to achieve more traditional true red tones.

$106.00 Add to cart
Black Oak Bark, Ground
Black Oak Bark, Ground
Ground inner bark of Quercus velutina, sometimes known as Quercitron. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. A well-respected source of strong yellows. Pre-mordanting recommended. Alum/c.o.t. mordant gives excellent results. Use at 10-20% WOF for medium shades. TO USE: simmer in water at 160-175°F for 1 hour. Cool overnight and strain. Add more water if necessary and enter pre-mordanted fibre. Hold at a 160-175°F for one hour. The brightest yellows develop at these cool temperatures. Light and washfastness: excellent with a mordant.
$24.75$44.55 Select options
Black Walnut Hulls, Crushed
Black Walnut Hulls, Crushed

Coarsely ground dried hulls of Juglans nigra.

Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Yields rich browns and tans. A substantive dye but pre-mordanting recommended for improved lightfast and colourfast qualities. Use at 25-50% WOF for medium shades.

TO USE: soak 24 hours or longer to rehydrate. Simmer at 185-200°F for 1.5 hrs. Cool and strain. Enter fibre and simmer and simmer at 185-200°F for 1 to 1.5 hrs.

Light and washfastness: good to excellent.

NOTE: WEAR GLOVES!! Clean pots and utensils well, this dye tends to stain everything it touches.

$4.51$18.45 Select options
natural dyes @ the fibre garden
Brazilwood, Extract
Sawdust or extract from a tropical tree, Caesalpinia punctata. This species is from southeast Asia and is not the endangered species native to Brazil but still produces good, rich colours. It is also called Sappanwood or Eastern Brazilwood. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Best with a premordant. A classic dye that gives rich crimson, purple or pink, depending on the mordant. Brazilwood is very generous and, although expensive, a dyebath can yield up to 7 or 8 successive dips. Have plenty of fibre prepared, soaked and ready! Light and washfastness is rated as average. SAWDUST: Use at 20-100% WOF for medium to strong shades. Soak in water and/or rubbing alcohol for a few hours. Spread on a tray to air overnight. Add to water and simmer 1 hour. Cool and strain. Observe dyebath colour. If it leans towards scarlet-orange, stir in a teaspoon of Soda Ash to push the pH higher and change the dyebath to more of a purple-red. Add small amounts of Soda Ash until this happens. Enter premordanted fibre to dye liquor and simmer 1 hour. EXTRACT: Approximately 6 times stronger than sawdust or chips. Use at 20-50% WOF for medium to strong shades. Dissolve in hot tap water and add to dyepot. Adjust pH with Soda Ash as outlined above. Enter premordanted fibre to dye liquor and simmer 1 hour.
$19.25$63.00 Select options
natural dyes @ the fibre garden
Brazilwood, Sawdust
Sawdust or extract from a tropical tree, Caesalpinia punctata. This species is from southeast Asia and is not the endangered species native to Brazil but still produces good, rich colours. It is also called Sappanwood or Eastern Brazilwood. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Best with a premordant. A classic dye that gives rich crimson, purple or pink, depending on the mordant. Brazilwood is very generous and, although expensive, a dyebath can yield up to 7 or 8 successive dips. Have plenty of fibre prepared, soaked and ready! Light and washfastness is rated as average. SAWDUST: Use at 20-100% WOF for medium to strong shades. Soak in water and/or rubbing alcohol for a few hours. Spread on a tray to air overnight. Add to water and simmer 1 hour. Cool and strain. Observe dyebath colour. If it leans towards scarlet-orange, stir in a teaspoon of Soda Ash to push the pH higher and change the dyebath to more of a purple-red. Add small amounts of Soda Ash until this happens. Enter premordanted fibre to dye liquor and simmer 1 hour. EXTRACT: Approximately 6 times stronger than sawdust or chips. Use at 20-50% WOF for medium to strong shades. Dissolve in hot tap water and add to dyepot. Adjust pH with Soda Ash as outlined above. Enter premordanted fibre to dye liquor and simmer 1 hour.
$6.60$27.00 Select options
Calcium carbonate (Chalk)
Calcium carbonate (Chalk)
Used as a DYE ASSIST or MODIFIER in natural dyeing. Chalk can help to boost the colour uptake on certain dyes, including Madder, Munjeet and Weld, enabling more pigment to bond with the fibres by creating less acidic conditions. TO USE: calculate amount required for .5% WOF (weight of fibre), which means half a percent. Approximately 1 teaspoon per pound of fibre. Weigh and dissolve in hot water. Add to dyebath before entering fibre. For silk, stir into dyebath after dyeing is complete and taken off the heat, then soak fibre overnight. Dye solutions containing chalk may be safely disposed of down the drain or just poured outside in the garden. CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders.
$2.80$6.30 Select options
Citric acid
Citric acid
Used in place of vinegar, as a MORDANT on protein fibres when working with acid dyes or food colouring. Many production dyers switch to citric acid because buying jugs and jugs of vinegar gets too expensive, and vinegar makes your house smell like a pickle factory. Citric acid is odour free! TO USE: dry crystals may be easily weighed at 5 to 8% WOF (weight of fibre). Follow dye instructions for the recommended acid amounts. Just as with vinegar, the point at which you add the acid to the dyepot can make a substantial difference in the end results. Same goes for hand painting and other methods. TO MIX A VINEGAR SUBSTITUTE: add 200g (approximately 1 cup) of citric acid crystals to 4L of hot tap water in an empty vinegar jug. Cap and shake well until dissolved. This makes a 5% solution that can be measured and used exactly the same as for vinegar in your dye recipes. Dye solutions containing citric acid may be safely disposed of down the drain (other than septic systems). Some dyers use baking soda to first neutralize the spent dyebath. CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders. Wear gloves when handling citric acid powder, as it can cause skin burns. Avoid breathing fumes (just as with vinegar): dye in a well ventilated area.
$2.75$9.00 Select options
Cochineal, Whole
Cochineal, Whole
Whole dried insects. A scale insect native to Mexico/Central America that feeds exclusively on prickly-pear cactus. Cochineal is a very common source of red food colour with a long historical use. No mordant is required although they will extend the colour range in interesting ways. Use at 3-10% WOF for medium, 10-20% WOF for strong shades. Cochineal is expensive but very generous and can easily give 8 or more successive dips from the same dyebath. Have plenty of fibre ready and waiting! TO USE: grind finely in a coffee grinder (Cochineal is non-toxic but may stain your next pot of coffee). Soak overnight in cold water with 5% Cream of Tartar to WOF. Simmer 15 minutes, cool and strain -- we find a sieve lined with moist paper towel does the trick. Return to pot, add more water if necessary then enter the fibre and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes. Light/washfastness: excellent
$11.00$65.88 Select options
Mordants @ The Fibre Garden
Copper sulphate
Used as a MORDANT in natural dyeing, which allows the plant pigments to bond with the fibres. Copper tends to take the dyed yarn colours towards the brown and green ends of the spectrum. A natural dye that comes out bright yellow with an Alum mordant will look very different with copper. Used mainly on protein fibres such as wool, alpaca, silk. Although we love to use copper as a premordant, many dyers simply use it after dyeing to push the colours a different direction. To do this, add only 25% by weight of the usual premordanting amounts. Dissolve in hot water. Remove fibre from the dyebath, stir in the copper solution, re-enter the fibre and heat for another 15 minutes. Cool and rinse as usual. TO USE: weigh the dry fibre. Calculate mordant required for 2% WOF (weight of fibre) and white vinegar at 40ml per 100g fibre. Weigh copper and dissolve in hot water. Fill pot with sufficient water for the fibre to move, add copper, vinegar and stir. Enter fibre. Bring to 180-200 deg F and hold 1 hour. Stir yarns frequently. Cool overnight, then wash well. Dye fibre immediately or dry for later use. These directions that include vinegar are recommended by Jenny Dean in her various natural dye books. Older recipes tend to use 8% copper sulphate all by itself, as a premordant. Spent mordant solution is best disposed of on the ground, such as a gravel driveway. Keep well away from tree roots and anywhere that may drain to a pond or water feature, since copper sulphate is toxic to plants, fish and other aquatic life. CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders. Wear gloves when using copper, particularly when rinsing or handling wet yarns as can be absorbed by the skin. BEST DONE OUTDOORS or with very good ventilation. Avoid breathing fumes.
$4.40$18.00 Select options
Cutch, Ground Extract
Cutch, Ground Extract
Ground resin extract from Acacia catechu, sometimes called Catechu. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. A source of lovely rich browns and rusts. Substantive but pre-mordanting recommended. Use at 20-50% WOF for medium shades. TO USE: soak 24 hours in water to dissolve, stirring occasionally. Place extract and fibre in dyepot and add more water if necessary. Bring to a high simmer for 1 hour. Let fibre cool in dye liquor for at least one more hour or overnight. Light and washfastness: excellent
$4.29$17.55 Select options
Dyer’s Chamomile
Dyer’s Chamomile
Dried flower heads of Anthemis tinctoria, a perennial garden flower often called Golden Marquerite. This plant is NOT the same as the Chamomile used for tea. Use on protein fibres. With an Alum/c.o.t. mordant this gives a strong yellow. Use at 50-100% WOF for medium to strong shades. Mixed with or dyed under/over Madder this will produce tangerine shades. A traditional dyeplant widely used in Turkish carpets. If you happen to grow the plant simply pick the flowerheads and use fresh, no need to dry them. TO USE: soak in hot water overnight. Simmer 30-60 minutes in soaking liquid. Cool, strain then simmer premordanted fibre for 30-60 minutes. Light and washfastness: good to excellent with a mordant.
$5.50$22.50 Select options
Fustic, Shavings
Fustic, Shavings
Shavings from Chlorophora tinctoria often called Old Fustic. Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Requires a premordant. A classic dye that gives bright yellows through to gold or green, depending on the mordant. Use at 30-50% WOF for medium to strong shades. TO USE: soak in water overnight to several days. Simmer 1 hour in soaking liquid. Cool, strain then simmer premordanted fibre for 30-60 minutes. Temperatures of 155-160°F will give the best yellows. Light and washfastness: good to excellent with a mordant.
$12.93$42.30 Select options
Glauber’s salt
Glauber’s salt
Sodium sulphate. Used as a LEVELLER in both synthetic and natural dyeing. Glauber's salt slows down the colour uptake of the dye, encouraging more even and level strike. This is particularly useful when dyeing soft pastel shades. TO USE: Calculate amount required for 10 to 50% WOF (weight of fibre), lower amounts for softer shades, higher amounts for deeper colours. Dissolve in hot water and add in stages during dyeing, as the bath temperature rises but before dye strikes. Dispose of spent dyebath in your usual way. Down the drain is fine. CAUTION: wear a mask when handling powders.
$4.00$7.20 Select options
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Henna powder
A powder made from the dried leaves of a shrub, Lawsonia inermis, used for centuries as a hair and skin dye in many cultures. Used mainly on protein fibres but also effective on premordanted cellulose fibres. Substantive on wool (no mordant required) but mordants may improve lightfast qualities and copper, iron or tin will alter the resulting colours. By itself Henna produces shades of tan through brown to orange-brown or gold can also be achieved.Use at 50% WOF for medium to strong shades. TO USE: probably best soaked in water overnight. Simmer 1 hour in soaking liquid. Cool, strain then simmer premordanted fibre for 30-60 minutes. Light and washfastness: we're not sure yet, but probably pretty good.
$3.03$12.38 Select options