Collection: Dye Plants
Over 150 known plant species have been used for coloring so far. The use of natural dyes can be traced back to the early Paleolithic. Before it was possible to synthesize dyes in the 19th century, vegetable dyes played an important role in dyeing fabrics. Dyes were also a very important and valuable commodity. In the Middle Ages, people in Europe began to grow dye plants in fields.
Although all plants contain dyes, only a few meet the requirements in terms of economy, quality (e.g. wash fastness, light fastness), biological availability and dyeing behavior.
People in Indonesian Sulawesi and Spain were already twisting plants into fibers and coloring them as early as 40,000 years ago.
Dye plants were also used for food, cosmetics, paper and many others.