Fiber Color Range
Saffron offers a double-whammy of bright yellow and pink dyes, but obtaining them is a bit of a process. Flowers are simmered and strained to get a first extraction of yellow dye. They are then put back into the dye pot and steeped with washing soda to raise the pH, and strained off again. Vinegar or lemon juice is then added to the remaining liquid to lower the pH, to make the bright red that will ultimately yield pinks. Got all that?! Full disclosure - we’ve not tried this yet but fingers crossed that our summer cooperates so we can experiment with this unusual dye!
Safflower likes a long, hot, dry growing season, with at least 4 months of frost-free days. Doesn’t sound like Vermont, we know, but it’s worth giving this Mediterranean native a try in case we get that type of summer. Dig deep before planting; safflower has a long taproot which helps it access water in dry weather. It starts as a spikey rosette that remains low to the ground until it bolts mid-summer. Flowers can be harvested mid to late July for their spectacular pinks and golden yellows, or used as a color substitute for saffron in cooking.
|Height||2' - 3'|
|| Fertile, deep, well-drained;
pH 6.5 - 7.5