Extracting natural blue pigment from the leaves of the Woad plant. The pigment has traditionally been used to dye wool but it can also be used in naturally colouring soap.

Extracting natural blue pigment from the leaves of the Woad plant. The pigment has traditionally been used to dye wool but it can also be used in naturally colouring soap. ** Latin name = Isatis Tinctoria ** French name = pastel des teinturiers **

Before Indigo was used, "woad" was used. "Woad is an old color. A conversation with history. A natural dye. An ugly plant. Locked in green leaves, compounds that break into pigments of blue." -Curious Blue | HandEye

Woad balls are produced from green leaves! This dye remains color fast after washing, unlike indigo which fades over time. I love this color of blue, it is a comfort to me.

Woad was grown and picked in its first year. Leaves were chopped up, made into balls and left to dry until they hardened.  The dried balls were broken into a powder, sprinkled with water and allowed to ferment, known as couching. When the couched woad dried. Hot water is poured onto the couched woad in the vat, adding potash or urine. This mixture would ferment for days before the dyebath is ready.

dye with woad balls - teindre avec des "cocagne" de pastel

Wool - Tribulations of Hand Spinning and Herbal Dying: Making Woad Dye from the Plant to the Wool.

Wool - Tribulations of Hand Spinning and Herbal Dying: Making Woad Dye from the Plant to the Wool.

I'm interested in growing woad and indigo plants just to make a small amount of dye for my homespun yarn. extracting pigment from woad leaves

I'm interested in growing woad and indigo plants just to make a small amount of dye for my homespun yarn. extracting pigment from woad leaves

yarn dyed with woad... wish people kept track of photo authorship... it migth be Bleu de Lectoure. If it is your photo, let me know and I will be pleased to add your credit :)

yarn dyed with woad. wish people kept track of photo authorship. it migth be Bleu de Lectoure. If it is your photo, let me know and I will be pleased to add your credit :)

Anglo-Saxon textile display West Stowe. Photo courtesy of Wulfheodenas

Photo courtesy of Wulfheodenas. No, these aren't Viking textiles but the color range would have been similar, which is why this photograph is included here.

Deb McClintock, Texas; gorgeous lichen dyed yarns

deb’s dyepot- Deb McClintock always has fun with her dyepots. Here are some results from lichens.

Shades of blue ~ dyeing with woad.

Shades of blue ~ dyeing with woad. I would love to go to a woad dying workshop someday.

Dyers's Chamomile dyed wool. Green is overdyed with woad. #kamille #natuurlijkeverf

Dyer's Chamomile: From Left to Right 100 gm of flowers – pale yellow 200 gm of flowers – yellow 300 gm of flowers – medium yellow 400 gm of flowers – dark yellow 200 gm of flowers + ½ tsp chalk – dark yellow 200 gm of flowers - overdyed with woad

Genista tinctoria  Dyer's Broom

Binding together, fixes nitrogen, may be associated with besoms, yellow dye. Probably not terribly edible but probably not horribly poisonous.

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