Sunflower dye

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Sunflowers in bloom
Credit: Bruce Fritz (USDA)


A natural yellow Dye obtained from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) blooms. Sunflowers produce a bright yellow dye in Alkaline solutions that is not lightfast. In Acetic acid solutions, however, sunflowers give a colorfast golden color on Wool with an Alum Mordant. The seeds of the sunflower plant were also used by native Americans to produce a dark purple color used for dyeing baskets.

Synonyms and Related Terms

silk dyed with sunflower petals in Visible light

Helianthus annuus; colorant à base de tournesol (Fr.); girasol (Esp.);

silk dyed with sunflower petals in UV light

Resources and Citations

  • D. Cardon, Natural Dyes: Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science (original edition Le Monde des teintures naturelles), Archetype Publications, Ltd., London, 2007
  • R.J. Adrosko, Natural Dyes in the United States, Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 1968