Osage - consists of the shredded wood of the tree Maclura pomifera. Osage contains a yellow dye similar to fustic and black oak and yields clear, true yellows to soft yellow greens that have a high light and washfastness. It yields good depth of shade at 20-30% WOF. Osage grows throughout the south and central United States. The tree was originally planted to help with wind erosion, the wood was used to build fences and was hard enough for wagon wheels. Osage has overgrown many areas and is being cut down for firewood. Our supplier rescues these logs and chips them for us or soaks them in water and through a solar process extracts the liquid concentrate.
Mordanting: use alum mordant at 15% WOF for protein fibres. For cellulose mordant with tannin at 8% WOF and then alum at 15%, or alum acetate at 8%.
Dyeing: when using the osage sawdust, soak it in water for a few hours or overnight. When soaking is complete, bring this bath up to simmer and cook for an hour. Strain off the dye liquid and use for the dyepot. Add the fibre and simmer for about 45-60 minutes. Dyeing in a copper dyepot or adding a few clean copper pennies to the dyebath will brighten the yellow. Adding 2-4% iron to the dyebath will produce olive greens. Over or Under dyeing with indigo yields bright emerald and leaf greens.
Osage Extract: when using the extract simply add the liquid directly to the dyebath, add the fibre and simmer for about 45-60 minutes. Use at 2-5% WOF for a medium depth of shade Dyeing in a copper dyepot or adding a few clean copper pennies to the dyebath will brighten the yellow. Adding iron at 2-4% WOF will produce medium olive greens. Overdyeing in indigo yields bright emerald and leaf greens.
For in-depth information on natural dyes see our Guide to Natural Dyes available on naturaldyes.ca. Also available as a Printable PDF