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Natural Dyeing with Osage Orange Shavings

Natural Dyeing with Osage Orange Shavings

Natural Dyeing with Osage Orange Shavings

Natural Dyeing with Osage Orange Shavings starts with the shredded wood of the tree Maclura pomifera. which 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. 

  • Function: Dye
  • Form: Wood shavings
  • Application: Cellulose, Silk, Wool
  • Color: Yellows, Greens
  • Typical Use Rate: 20-30% Weight of Fiber
  • Source: Macllura pomifera (Osage Orange heartwood)
  • Package Size: 1 oz. (28 grams)


  • Protein Fibers - Use alum mordant at 15% WOF
  • Cellulose Fibers - Mordant with tannin at 8% WOF and then alum at 15%, or as an alternate use aluminum acetate at 8%.


  • soak the shavings 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 dye pot. Add the fiber and simmer for about 45-60 minutes.


  • Adding copper pennies, copper sulfate or dyeing in a copper pot will brighten the yellow.
  • Adding 2-4% iron to the dye bath will produce olive greens.
  • Over or Under dyeing with indigo yields bright emerald and leaf greens.


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Susan Kranyik - May 10, 2020

Your osage dye is very high quality and I love the intensity.

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