The Time Traveler’s Dye: Jewelweed
Jewelweed grows from southern Canada to Oklahoma and is often called “touch-me-not” for its exploding seed pods. As a medicinal, jewelweed is a topical remedy for poison ivy, poison oak, nettle stings and insect bites.
It also makes a user friendly introduction to natural dying.
Jewelweed will produce color ranging from a lovely peach to a buttery yellow (as the dye exhausts). Overdying gray will yield a subtle bronze, so while it can be done, jewelweed is best used on white wools and fabrics.
While your wool will benefit from being pre-mordanted, it isn’t, in this case, strictly necessary. And while it aids in the dye staying colorfast, alum, is also not strictly necessary. You can make a very successful dye from a pile of jewelweed, a pair of scissors, a pot of water, and a tablespoon or two of cream of tartar.
If you liked dying with Jewelweed, you’ll love Bree’s Blue: Dying with Indigo