Wild Colours - Exciting colours from Natural Dyes
BFL wool dyed with Sorghum natural dye extract
1) What is Sorghum?
Sorghum is a grain of the grass family used worldwide as a staple food. The non-edible cultivar that has most dye potential has rusty red marks on leaf bracts and blades.
Sorghum is not well known as a dye plant in Europe but it is used in Africa to dye leather for shoes as well as reeds and grasses for making mats.
2) What colours does Sorghum extract produce?
Sorghum extract produces dark and light mauves, or rusty shades similar to madder.
3) How do I use Sorghum extract?
Wash and mordant the wool (follow Scouring the wool and Mordanting with alum for details).
First make a paste with 1 teaspoon (5 grams) sorghum extract and a small amount of warm water. Fill a saucepan with water and add the sorghum extract paste.
Add your pre-wetted mordanted fibre. Bring the dye bath to a gentle simmer and then keep at that temperature for 45 to 60 minutes. Sorghum extract tends to settle in the bottom of saucepan and needs stirring from time to time. Leave overnight to cool.
4) How much wool does Sorghum extract dye?
10 grams of Sorghum extract will dye one 100 gram hank of Blue-faced Leicester superwash wool mauve and another pale mauve. Colours vary with fibre and water.
5) What is Sorghum dye extract?
Our Sorghum extract is shipped as a dry dark mauve crystalline powder that is very stable and of good colour fastness. It is produced using processes that respect the environment and comply with organic textile certifications. Our Sorghum dye extract is an approved dyestuff for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS 4.0) and is of consistent high quality through certified cultivation of a pure plant (Europam: the European certification for medicinal herbs) and a high level of process control during production.
Learn more about dyeing with natural dye extracts:
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Updated on 28 November 2020
Website & photos by Mike Roberts ©2006-20 Wild Colours natural dyes