Best flowers for dyeing fabric

Hi Creative Mamas! So let’s talk about which are the best flowers for dyeing fabric!

There are many different natural dyes which are excellent for natural dyeing fabric when you are using natural fibers.

These can be protein fibers (silk, wool and leather) and cellulose fibers (cotton and linen).

In order to know if your fabrics are natural or synthetic fibers you can perform a quick fabric burn test.

a photo of a marigold and a dyer's chamomile flower on top of a naturally dyed cotton fabric using logwood.

Natural dye plants

I have written a dedicated post about the best 40 natural dyes which include all natural plant dyes.

Some of my favorite dye plants include:

  • Black tea (brown dye)
  • Madder root (red dye)
  • Alkanet root & logwood bark (purple dye)
  • Yellow onion skins (bright yellow dye)
  • Avocado skins (pink dye)
  • Fusticwood (golden yellow dye, green dye) if mixed with indigo or woad)

Download your FREE Natural Dyes list

I love all these natural dyes, but what makes my day is to plant and care for my flower dye garden.

I love to grow my own garden of flowers. They make my garden look pretty and colorful but they are also my resources for my craft work.

This allows me to always have fresh flowers at hand to not only dye and print fabric but also to design unique pieces!

These tote bags were made out of eco printed fabric using coreopsis flowers from my garden. This fabric was created while filming the Eco Printing on Fabric Video course.

eco printed fabrics used to make tote bags

What flowers can be used to dye fabric?

This is a list of of the best flowers (botanical dyes) to dye fabric with. I have tried them all myself and they have all given me good results.

Some of these flowers are great in eco printing and bundle dyeing while others are great for immersion dyeing.

In immersion dyeing you need to extract the color first and then immerse the fabric in a dye bath.

The fabric will need to dye inside the dye pot for a specific amount of time so it’s a much longer process but yields consistent solid natural color.

Not all dyes will work well for both methods, so bare that in mind when choosing which flowers to choose.


Marigolds produce beautiful natural yellow/golden color.

a stainless steel pot filled with dried marigolds

They are super easy to plant in your dye garden but you will need to re plant every spring since they don’t seem to last through the winter.

a photo of yarn that has been dyed using marigold flowers and coffee dyes

The photo above shows you the natural color that marigold produces in wool yarn which is pretty much the same as in silk and wool fabric.

Marigolds work great for immersion dyeing and eco printing.


Goldenrods or Solidago are beautiful yellow flowers and fantastic for eco printing, bundle dyeing and immersion dyeing.

Goldenrods like sunny spots and moist well drained soil. They spread very easily so keep that in mind at the time of planting :).


Hydrangeas are also a great flower to have as part of your dye garden. I have them in an area where the soil is mostly wet most year round and they seem to like that spot.

Hydrangeas work great for eco printing. I mostly use the hydrangeas leaves rather than the actual flower part in my eco printing work.

Dyer’s chamomile

This is a fantastic flower for both eco printing and natural dyeing with the immersion method.

Dyer’s chamomiles are always part of my flower dye garden. They like to be in a sunny spot in direct sunlight and they don’t like wet soil.

a bunch of marigold flowers and dyer's chamomile flowers upside down so that they can be dried out for later use in natural dyeing

You need to re plant every couple of years but they self seed. Just 2 or 3 plants will provide you with enough flowers for a whole year of dyeing.

I use the flower part and the green leaves.


Geraniums have always been a feature in my home while I was growing up.

I have a few geraniums in my patio as pot plants and even though they are not my go to flowers for printing I do use them from time to time.

Geraniums work great for eco printing and hapazome.They are not good in immersion dyeing.


Roses are only good in eco printing (in my opinion).

Rose leaves make beautiful defined eco prints in silk and cotton fabrics. You can easily enhance the print by using iron water or an iron blanket during the eco printing process.


Coreopsis flowers are really my favorite for eco printing and bundle dyeing. I don’ use them in immersion dyeing.

I have 4 plants which have been providing me with flowers for over a year now and they keep on growing and proliferating.

eco printed silk and 2 coreopsis flowers and leaves

The photo above shows how beautifully they print on silk fabric.


Weld is another great yellow flower that you can easily grow in your dye garden.

They make a beautiful natural yellow dye which is very similar to the one you get from dyer’s chamomile but a bit more pale (not so intense).

You can get a nice lime yellow from it when you add more clear water to the dye bath.

Weld is ideal for natural dyeing with the immersion method.


Woad will make a nice blue dye and it’s an alternative to indigo dye. The dye extraction process is a bit more complicated and therefore I have only used it once.


I love using sunflowers in eco printing. They are not good for natural dyeing because in my opinion they don’t provide enough brightness and the color is a bit meh.

The photo below shows a silk scarf which was eco printed using a sunflowers in combination with an iron dip.

bundle dyed silk scarf using iron water and sunflowers

I love printing with sunflowers when I receive them as gifts. It doesn’t seem right to let them dry out 🙂

St John’s Wort

Lovely yellow flowers and also pretty enough for any dye garden.

They are great for printing and bundle dyeing but I don’t use them for natural dyeing.

The color it’s just not striking enough for me 🙂

Dye garden

Having your own dye flower garden is super easy. You can grow your own dyes at home with very little effort.

Find a spot that has lots of direct sunlight and rich soil. Well drained soil is a must!

I have my dye flowers spread throughout my vegetable garden. Honestly, if I can grow a dye garden so can you.

a vegetable garden as well as a dye flower  garden with marigolds

Another option is to have your flowers growing in pots.

You can plant them and cut them as you need them and if you keep watering the pots the plants will keep growing new flowers 🙂

Can you dye fabric with dried flowers?

YES! Some flower dyes such as marigolds and dyer’s chamomile have a harvesting time. You plant them in Spring and you harvest them in summer.

Dry the flowers by making little bundles and hanging them upside down for a couple of weeks and make sure that you place them inside paper bag or a container with a lid.

Make sure they are completely dry before putting them inside a closed container.

How do you make dye out of flowers?

You will need to go through the extraction process:

  • Fill a stainless steel pot with clear warm water
  • Place the plant material (flowers) inside the pot
  • Bring the pot to a boil
  • Reduce the heat and let it simmer for at least 1 hour
  • Remove from stove
  • Strain dye liquid (Do this for all flowers and you will end up with different colors)
straining the liquid from the marigold dye extraction bath

This is the process required to extract the dye from flowers if you are using the immersion method. Here are some great tips for immersion dyeing.

Check out the Natural dyeing Bundle for a comprehensive Natural dyeing Guide/video and resources that will get you dyeing like a PRO in no time!

You will learn how to obtain beautiful natural color results using different plants, different dye materials and different natural fabrics.

image of the natural dyeing bundle from la creative mama

How to print fabric with flowers

If you are eco printing or bundle dyeing you don’t need to extract the color because you want the extraction to happen in the steaming process and you want shape of the flowers to be intense and more defined.

Check out The Eco Printing on Fabric Video Course to learn how to eco print unique fabrics using flowers and leaves!

image of the eco print on fabric video course from la creative mama

How to bundle dye with flowers

Check out how to dye a silk scarf using bundle dyeing. This is one of my favorite ways to have fun using natural dyes in a playful way!

bundle dyeing silk  scarf

How to solar dye with flowers

I have written a full tutorial on how to solar dye using french marigold flowers.

a marigold inside a solar dyeing jar with white yarn inside

Solar dyeing is the best way to use flowers to dye fabric scraps! The sun will do the work for you.

Basically, we are using the sun as the heat source to activate the different mordants, the dyes and the fabrics all at once.

Check out how easy it is to use the sun to dye fabrics here!

Reach out with any questions that you may have about natural dyeing and eco printing!

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