Highly-pigmented blooms that can be used for dyeing.
Flowers are embodied sunshine, and sometimes that sunshine can be harvested in the form of a golden-orange dye. Native to plains and meadows of North America, Dyer’s Coreopsis has long been used by textile artists for its richly pigmented petals. Easy to grow and produces a plethora of cadmium red blossoms, sometimes ringed with yellow. Our strain has a higher proportion of solid red blooms than most. Also wonderful as an ornamental alone.
Try making your own solar dye at home using handkerchiefs, napkins, or pillowcases: Measuring twice the weight of fabric to blooms, pour boiling water over your flowers and steep the fabric up to one week in the sun.
Start indoors 6 weeks before last frost, and transplant after frost, or direct sow outdoors after danger of frost has passed. Sow shallowly; light aids in germination. Thin direct sown plants to 12" spacing when the seedlings set true leaves. Harvest the abundant blooms and deadhead frequently to maximize blooming period. Use the cadmium-red fresh or dried blossoms for dyeing, or enjoy their wispy beauty as an ornamental or cut flower.
About the Artist
Kara Patrowicz loves the alchemy-like process of combining different palettes and fiber media. She used Dyer's Coreopsis for several colors in this piece, resulting in a watery effect, with embroidered details bringing clarity to the composition.