Wild Colours - Exciting colours from Natural Dyes
BFL wool dyed with Persian Berry (or Buckthorn) natural dye extract
BFL wool dyed with Buckthorn (or Persian Berry) extract & overdyed with indigo
Raffia dyed black with persian berry extract & logwood extract
1) What is Persian Berry or Buckthorn?
Persian berries come from the Avignon buckthorn (Rhamnus saxatilis) and are also known as Avignon berries. They have been used as a natural dye for hundreds of years.
2) What colours does Persian berry extract produce?
Our Persian berry extract is prepared from unripe (green) berries and produce bright and rich gold colours on wool and silk mordanted with alum. These yellows are warmer than yellows produced from weld. They are great for over dyeing with woad or indigo for good greens. If you over dye it with reds you will get vibrant oranges.
Over dye with logwood extract and iron for blacks and see also blacks with persian berry extract.
Note: ripe (black) Persian berries produce a green colour, named ‘vert de vessie’, which is used more often for illumination of manuscripts than as a textile dye.
3) How do I use Persian Berry extract?
Wash and mordant the wool (follow Scouring the wool and Mordanting with alum for details).
Make a paste with 1 teaspoon (5 grams) Persian berry extract and a small amount of warm water. Fill a saucepan with water and add the Persian berry extract paste.
Add the pre-wetted mordanted fibre. Bring the dye bath to a gentle simmer then keep at that temperature for about 45 minutes, stirring gently from time to time. Leave overnight to cool.
4) How much wool does Persian Berry or Buckthorn extract dye?
Persian berry is a strong extract and 20 grams of Persian berry extract will dye two 100 gram hanks of Blue-faced Leicester superwash wool to a very dark golden yellow and a medium yellow colour (and probably a third skein light yellow), respectively, depending on water quality and other factors. We suggest you experiment as dye colours will vary with the type of fibre, the mordant and the quality of water.
5) What is Persian Berry extract?
Our Persian berry extract is shipped as a dry bright yellow crystalline powder that is very stable and of high colour fastness. It is produced using processes that respect the environment and comply with organic textile certifications. Our Persian berry dye extract is an approved dyestuff for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS 4.0) and is of consistently 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.
6) Black colours with Persian Berry extract
It is easy to get black on raffia with persian berry extract and logwood extract. Mordant with alum and then dye with logwood extract, persian berry extract & iron.
Learn more about dyeing with natural dye extracts:
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Updated on 19 April 2021
Website & photos by Mike Roberts ©2006-21 Wild Colours natural dyes