Friday, May 16, 2014

Rhus Typhina

Staghorn sumac starting to leaf out.

Staghorn sumac.

~Staghorn Sumac~

I am patiently waiting for the sumac to "flower" for dyeing.
I had such wonderful variation last year, I am curious to see what this year brings.
Definitely one of my favorites!

Do you have a favorite plant?


  1. What a beautiful plant. Reminds me of the trees from the Lorax. What colors do you get with sumac? I've been playing with a black walnut hull dye I made last fall; without any mordant I've gotten golden browns, reddish browns, and chocolate browns on different fibers, including leather. With a little iron oxide (in this case rusty metal I found in the woods) I can make grays and a true black. I see you like bright colors, but have you ever explored black walnut hulls for dye? I live here in Rockport, and they're everywhere in the fall. What other local plants do you like to dye with?

    1. Hi Aaron!
      I love that that is what they remind you of and I can totally see it!! I have been getting pinkish browns if I use alum as a mordant, but getting dusty purples with iron. I have been wanting to play with walnut, it has been on my list for a while and actually had a great haul last year, but stupidly left them outside overnight and the squirrels had an absolute field day! So I will be trying again this year.
      Aside from the sumac, I love using tansy and goldenrod, but have a LOT more experimenting to do both with these plants, as well as trying new plants! I love indigo as well, but I haven't grown it myself yet...
      Keep me posted with your dyeing adventures!!!

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