Queen Madder

Madder is a root, latin name Rubia tinctorum. This is a dye that has been known for many years. The plant has little yellow flowers and has to grow in the fields for three years before the roots can be harvested and used.

madder

Depending upon the mordant, it yields red, a pinky brown, or brown. However, because it is a botanical and dependent upon growing conditions, yield and color can vary.

I mordanted silk scarves with alum and cream of tartar.

The chopped roots were put into a stocking and soaked in a dye bath.

madder

Although the dye bath itself was a lovely red, my scarf came out more of a pale peach.

madder scarf

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