Local dye Goldenrod

As it turns out, the local dye Goldenrod (Solidago) in Ontario, has 30 different species! Who would’ve thought? Goldenrod is an invasive, natural plant in this province in Canada, one that is often mistakenly blamed to cause seasonal allergies. The plant that causes allergies is called Ragweed. Both plants are members of the Asteraceae family. As well, a large variety of regional plants have very fine pollen grains that are carried by the wind. Goldenrods, on the other hand, have heavy pollen, which do not travel by wind. They are carried by bees, hornets, wasps, beetles.

While I haven’t identified the types of Goldenrod which I used to dye with, one is for sure, Canada Goldenrod!

I have used Goldenrod dye previously, with positive results. This Fall, I dyed several fabric items including: up-cycled cotton table napkins and tablecloths, and a short length of linen fabric bought in a textile store, which was beige in colour.

The results varied, ranging between yellow gold, tan and butter yellow

Part of the reason for the colour variation is the fabrics’ reaction to the tannin (Tara) and the fabric itself. Different weights of cotton can produce very different results, even if they are mordanted in the same way.

Adding different mordants to a dye can change the colour! In the image below, I used the following mordants/modifiers, L to R: soda ash, citric acid, iron powder, alum, au naturel and titanium oxalate.

The image above shows some of these fabrics dyed additionally, with Madder.


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Hi. I'm Maija.

Producer of one of a kind fabrics, I am a Visual/Textile Artist at MaiTribe Studio Gallery, in central Ontario, Canada.

My life and art have been inspired by my travels  to countries such as Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Bali and India.

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