Natural Dye Notebook :: No. 31, Honey Locust

Posted by Erin Howe on

There are some plants I put in my dyepot hoping they make great dye. I have a lot of them or they’re favorites. Dog fennel I have in abundance. Sweetgum also. Others I put in the dyepot hoping they won’t amount to anything. Honey locust is one of these. Here’s why:

I read that those thorns have been used for all kinds of things: pins, nails, needles, wool carding. All poky, stabby kinds of things. I was hoping for dyer’s beige or a boring brown with honey locust so I could move on from these thorns. 

The leaves gave me appropriately honeyed colors:

I do like it when the name somewhat matches up with the color. Makes it easy to remember.

The bark, it turned out, didn’t have anything spectacularly new to offer:

Which was a relief. Just sort of a lighter version of the leaves. 

So. The leaves are good for some honey colors and easy to pick. And if you run out of metal to make your pins, needles, nails, and wool carders, honey locust has you covered for backups. But for dye we can thankfully move on to other barks

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