Weld Dye Plants
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Weld (Reseda luteola)

When over-dyed with woad, it produces Lincoln Green, which is supposed to have been used to dye the clothes worn by Robin Hood and his band in the 13th century.

3) Cultivation of Weld
young weld dye plantIt is best to sow the fine black seeds in a tray of compost and it is important not to cover them with soil, as they are then unlikely to germinate. Watering the seeds with the rose of a watering can will cover them enough. These seeds can take up to three weeks to germinate, so keep the soil moist and be patient.

When the seedlings are large enough, plant them out in their final position. Weld does not particularly like a rich soil.

If it is attacked by asparagus beetles, I spray it with liquid derris.
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4) Harvesting Weld
I start harvesting the leaves and flower stalks from July onwards, and whilst it is flowering, but while the plant is still green. The colour is more concentrated in the leaves, flowers and seed capsules; the stalks do not have much colour. Old, dried-up weld plants give a dull yellow.
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5) Storing Weld Dye
If I have grown more weld than I can use fresh, I dry it. I harvest the plant whilst the leaves are still green, and put the stalks and leaves to dry in my greenhouse. When the leaves have become brittle, I put gloves on and run my hands along the stalks, stripping off the dry leaves and then throw away the stalks.

6) Dyeing with Weld (next page)

More on traditional yellow dyes;


Other Traditional Yellow Dyes

Dyers’ Chamomile, Dyers’ Green-weed, Saw-wort, Tansy

More Yellow Dyes

Dock, Eucalyptus, Onion, Safflower, Goldenrod & Osage Orange

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Updated on 19 April 2021
Website & photos by Mike Roberts ©2006-21 Wild Colours natural dyes