Time for Some Madder Root Dye – Naturally!

I’m still working on my Natural Dye project. Today I’d like to share my Madder Root dye day with you.


Madder Root is the root of the Rubia tinctorum, but the plant is more commonly known as Madder or Dyers Madder.

Because the dye comes in the form of a dried root, it requires a day of soaking prier to dye day. Just cover the roots with tap water and allow them to soak in a glass jar for 24 hours. Another option is to grind them 1st, but I’m not so sure this really helps.

I generally use more Madder for a deeper color. But for this project I just used up what I had. Normally a ratio of weight of fiber to the same weight of Madder root will give you the deepest color. I only had about 4 oz to use with my 10 oz of fiber. I’ve got both roving (un-spun fiber) and yarn today.

After I soaked them, I filled a large pot with water, added to roots and brought it to a simmer for about an hour. I let it cool down so that I could pour it through some cheese cloth to remove any debris.


After that it was time to add the pre-mordented fiber and once again bring it to a simmer. I let it cook for another hour before turning off the heat and letting it cool completely.

All that remained was to rinse it and hand it out to dry.

I think the color is very elegant.

Next up – Black Walnut! I’ve got them started, but it will be another week or 2 before I’m ready to dye.

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One Response to Time for Some Madder Root Dye – Naturally!

  1. wyatt says:

    I love the coral color!