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Japanese Safflower

Japanese Safflower - Hands Craft Store
Price: $11.50

Dried raw flower material - Dyes yellow to rose pink to red

Safflower (carthamus tinctorius) is one of man’s oldest crops and its flower petals were used as a dye in India, the Far East and Egypt. Indeed the name Carthamus comes from the Arabic, and means “dye”. It produces both red and yellow dyes that can be extracted from the flower petals, although the reds are more important. Safflower was used to dye the red cotton tapes of legal documents and it is the source of the expression “Red Tape”.

What are Mordants? - Mordants are metallic or mineral salts which, when added to the natural dye bath either enhance, intensify, or change the colour. They also play a large role in making the resulting shade faster to light and washing. All mordants should be treated with care and common sense. Dyers rarely agree on the quantities of mordant to be used. There are general guides though the best way for any dyer to find the amount of mordant to be used is to conduct their own experiments.

There are many different recipes for using natural dyes and your results will depend on your choice of mordant or what you're dying, we sell both natural dyes and mordants so everything you need is on our website. If you are new to natural dyes you will discover that the process of preparing your natural dyes is as much an art as the finished results. As with anything of this nature it is best to make samples and experiment first.

For recipes, we recommend two books, either the Ashford Book of Dyeing or Colours From Nature by Jenny Dean.