How to Grow Woad: The Blue Natural Dye Plant
Woad has been used since ancient times in Europe to dye textiles a brilliant blue, and is a very easy plant to grow.
It likes to be treated like a vegetable, which well it might, as it belongs to the brassica family (the cabbage and mustard family!
The Simple Rules of Growing Woad:
It really doesn’t complain, being frost hardy, and even though slugs love it, it can tolerate a bit of munching (usually!) once its established. In fact, a slightly stressed Woad plant produces more indigo precursors (which create the blue dye) than a pampered plant which may flower early.
Woad’s Life Cycle:
THIS is the year that its outer leaves are harvested to make the blue dye!
The seeds can also make a grey-blue ink, and are fabulous used in botanical printing techniques…
Step by step How to Grow Woad:
With a little care and attention, your woad plants will grow into beautiful, healthy plants that will provide you with a bountiful harvest of leaves for natural dyeing.
It can be a gratifying experience to continue a heritage almost lost to us, and to know we are contributing to the world of sustainable and eco-friendly textiles!
Happy planting my friends!