Dye in a Pot

Walnut - light brown to dark brown
Bloodroot - orange color
Yellow onion skins - yellow, rust color to orange
Pokeberry - resembles a dark mauve
Assorted berries for different colors

Place a branch of walnuts and water with the vines to be dyed in a pot. Then place rocks on the vines to hold them under the water and let simmer until the desired shade of brown appears. You can also use walnut hulls by boiling them and running the hulls through a sieve. Place the vines in this mixture and bring it to a boil. Boil for about 10 minutes and then run the vines under cold water until the water runs clear.

The bloodroot can be found along the banks of streams and near running water. It can be recognized by the single white flower which blooms in the early spring. The root can be gathered year round, even after the bloom falls off. Once the bloodroot has been gathered it should be stored in a cool dark place during which time it will shrink. When you are ready to boil the root just add water and let simmer. An orange color will appear in the vines when it is completed. Used liquid bloodroot dye can also be stored in a cool place. Some modern day weavers freeze the liquid which can be used again later.

The skins of the yellow onions can be located at any grocery store. Take the skins and place them in a pan of water with the vines and let simmer until the desired shade of yellow or rust appears. The liquid can be stored and reused.

Pokeberry and various other berries. Place in jar or bowl and mash to a pulp. Place the reed into the pulp; the longer you let it stand, the darker and richer the final color will be.

Information provided by Ina Romero