How to Create Peach or Salmon Dyes from Plants
Peach or salmon are lovely, delicate colors that are flattering to most skin tones. To create these colors organically for dyeing fabric or crafts, you don't need peaches or salmon! The hues can be created by choosing the right plants or seeds and extracting the color.
Once you have the dye, you'll need to follow some steps carefully when dyeing fabrics and yarns so the color will adhere and last. If you cannot find matching buttons for your project, dye them as well.
Annatto powder is derived from the seeds of the achiote trees of tropical and subtropical regions around the world. The seeds are used to produce a carotenoid-based yellow to orange food coloring and add a slightly peppery flavor with a hint of nutmeg. Annatto powder is also known as achiote powder.
The same trait that colors food will also produce a lovely peach colored dye bath for fabric. The seeds or powder are boiled with water can be found online or in Caribbean markets.
Bee balm, Monarda, flowers are brilliant in color and are usually pink or red. Other common names include horsemint, wild bergamot or Oswego tea. The plant blooms from early to late summer and grows 2 to 4 feet tall, depending on the variety.
The flowers should be gathered dry or dried to create a rosy peach dye when boiled in water. The easiest way to dry the flowers is to cut the blooms along with the stem, strip off the leaves, secure the bunch with a rubber band or string and hang upside down in a warm, dry spot to dry.
Jewelweed is part of the impatiens family. The plant grows into a tall (five foot) plant that produces yellow to orange blooms. The seed pods "pop" when touched and it is often called the touch-me-not plant.
The North American jewelweed pictured here grows in cool, shady areas. Gather the blossoms to create a lovely peach or mango to salmon dye bath.
Plum Tree Bark
While the skin of plums can produce a pink or purple dye, the bark and roots of the plum tree produce a salmon color when combined with alum in a dye bath.
The plum tree, Prunus, varies in height from eight feet to 35 feet. Most plum tree species have a spread ranging from 10 to 20 feet in width.
Virginia creeper, Parthenocissus quinquefolia, is a woody vine native to eastern and central North America. It is a climber and can quickly cover a tree or fence. The leaves are composed of five leaflets with a sawtooth edge joined from a central point on the leafstalk.
The leaves turn a deep red to burgundy in the fall. When combined with an alum mordant, the leaves, twigs or fruit will produce a peach dye.
Weeping Willow Bark
The weeping willow tree, Salix, grows to a height and width of 35-50 feet on average, with a weeping shape. It loves to grow in full sun in moist soil. It is a brittle tree and drops lots of twigs and bark, which are great for making dye baths. The wood and bark, when boiled in water, makes a peachy brown dye.
Willow trees can be found around the world in temperate climates and figure prominently in religion and literature.