Dyeing with Bloodroot

This project was done and written by Lori Kelley-Hannis.  She is an experienced natural dyer and long time member of the SCA.  Her Etsy shop can be found here.

colors from nature slowyarn.com
It’s A Good Day to Dye

It’s raining blood, sort of. I’ve spent ages the past few weeks looking at natural dyes thinking I want to do that but I live in an apartment. Lets face it some natural dyes really reek. I was looking at some of the herbs and roots I have laying around my apartment and came across my big bag of bloodroot. I picked that up and then set my wool to soak in alum. Then got to work.


I started with 440 yards of Knit Picks ™ Peruvian Highland yarn weighing in at 4 oz or 100grams.

bloodroot undyed yarn

Complete Guide to Natural Dyeing slowyarn.com

bloodroot dye in colander

woolery cochineal extract

Then took two cap fulls of Alum and tossed it in the warm water, and let it soak. While the wet wool was soaking I started boiling the bloodroot. I know you aren’t supposed to boil; however, it was a good idea as the roots were hard and I needed to leech out as much color as I could. I strained the bloodroot through an aluminum strainer with a coffee filter within. Replacing the water and repeating this process three times.



quebracho natural dye slowyarn.com

After that I placed the yarn into the dye bath sitting in a plastic tupperware bowl. I allowed it to sit for about three hours, during which time I allowed about 4 oz of wool roving to sit in another alum dye bath.


The  color yielded was this incredible rich orangy gold in the first dye bath then mellowing in a butter yellow through the second.

Bloodroot dyed yarn



woolery madder

Copyright ©  2015 Kelley Adams.  All rights  reserved.

All text, photos, and graphics are the property of Kelley Adams, unless credit is given to an alternative source.

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