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Dyes from American Native Plants: A Practical Guide

By Lynne Richards and Ronald J. Tyrl

Contains a wealth of information on using plants and herbs native to America for dyeing cloth and wool. This is a welcome book.

American Herbal Institute

The dyeing of textiles and other materials is a rewarding and delightful way to bring the colors of nature to daily living. In our technological age, dyes from plants offer subtle and diverse hues unavailable from synthetic dyestuffs. They connect practitioners to the environment as well as to the crafts and history of our ancestors. Dyes from native plants offer a special source of satisfaction and beauty. In this fascinating book, the authors have compiled extensive information to bring the techniques, plants, and lore of natural dyeing within every reader's reach. Chapters include discussions of color theory, dye equipment, dye processes, mordants, and easy-to-follow instructions for processing plants and dyeing fabrics. The core of the book is an exhaustive reference to the hundreds of colors that can be obtained from 158 commonly encountered North American plant species. The authors include detailed records of the various plant parts needed to produce different colors, cross-referencing each color to the Munsell color system, an internationally accepted standard for describing color. Finally, the book offers a practical botanical field guide that allows readers to locate and identify each plant in the book. Beautiful color photographs round out the volume.

Media reviews

"Contains a wealth of information on using plants and herbs native to America for dying cloth and wool. Beautiful color photographs are provided with descriptions to make identification easier for the beginner. This is a welcome book."

American Herbal Institute

"An excellent reference book for economic botanists, textile artists, and crafters interested in natural dyes."

Sida, Contributions to Botany

"Appeals to people who enjoy seeing how garden plants and those in the wild can be used. The authors have compiled extensive information to bring the techniques, plants and lore of natural dyeing to readers."

—Suzanne Hively, Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Dyes from Native American Plants appeals to people who enjoy seeing how garden plants and those in the wild can be used. The authors have compiled extensive information to bring the techniques, plants and lore of natural dyeing to readers."

—Suzanne Hively, Cleveland Plain Dealer

About the authors

Lynne Richards

Lynne Richards is a professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at Oklahoma State University, where she teaches courses in textile design and design history. She is also a textile and fiber artist and the recipient of several awards for her teaching and artistic work.

Read more about Lynne Richards

Ronald J. Tyrl

Ronald J. Tyrl is professor of botany at Oklahoma State University and curator of the university's herbarium. He is an authority on the flora of Oklahoma and author or co-author of many books and articles on toxic plants, grasses, and the state's flora. He has received several awards for his teaching.

Read more about Ronald J. Tyrl

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