Natural Dyer’s Broom
Natural Dyer’s Broom flakes (Genista tinctoria), used for strong yellows.
The plant, as its Latin and common names suggest, has been used from ancient times for producing a yellow dye, which combined with woad also provides a green colour.
Favoured for generations because of its reliability and colour-fastness. Yellow dyes tend to fade more quickly than other colours, not so with dyer’s broom. It isn’t called dyer’s broom for nothing. You’ll note we don’t sell these chips in larger amounts – you simply won’t need them at domestic scale as dyer’s broom is so light weight (similar to dried mixed herbs).
Cows will sometimes eat the plant, and it communicates an unpleasant bitterness to their milk and even to the cheese and butter made from it – not good to have mixed into your dairy grazing pastures.
Tournefort (1708) describes the process of dyeing linen, woollen, cloth or leather with the use of this plant, which he saw being done on the isle of Samos, in Greece. It is still used today in some of the Grecian islands. The Romans employed it for dyeing, and it is described by several of their writers & historians.
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