Woad and Weld: 2010 to 2011

When I first tried growing my own dye plants identification was difficult. As I’ve written about previously I had my Weld confused for Woad until some kind person pointed this out and we ended up swapping seeds.

A google image search  on Woad or Weld plants usually gets flowering – i.e adult – plants. Images of young Woad or Weld plants seemed rare so I’m trying to document my plants as I grow them.

Woad and Weld. (Sorry, I now realize that I should have photographed these with a ruler or something to indicate size.) Till you see them over a few plantings they look pretty much  alike.

The Woad plant about a month later.

The Woad about four months later. These are still youngish plants but now easier to tell apart.

And here is the Weld, shot at the same time.  At this point they finally look different.

If it helps any here are closer shots of the leaves. Weld first and then Woad.

Detail, looking down into the Weld plant.

Woad leaves I had cut for processing.

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0 thoughts on “Woad and Weld: 2010 to 2011

  • Hi
    Found your nifty website when trying to find others and info on natural dying. There are wild fennel plants nearby.
    Where do you get your weld and woad? would like to try that next.
    The fennel smells good and it had done the old linen towel and wool yarn, but cotton not so much. no mordant on any as done in a cooking pot.
    Lynn D
    Moorpark , Ca

    • Thank you for your comments. About the Woad and Weld. In the past I had used powdered Woad but wanted to try processing myself. First batch of seeds I purchased from I think Richters Herbs in BC Canada. Only the Weld came up which I thought was Woad until someone saw the blog pics and corrected me. We ended up swapping seeds, which is more or less the plants you are looking at. You aren’t that far away – I can send you some seeds when the current plants start seeding.

      I’ve never gotten fennel to work on cotton – only wool. For cotton I use oxalis (weeds) or onion peels.


  • Hi Jamie,

    That would be great to get some seed. Does it like the heat or less or more water?
    I have some yarn and t shirt just dyed with red onion skins and carrot tops. The wool is rust colored will see what happens after risneout. Am goining into the yard to try a couple of leaves (only have 2 plants ) of scabiosa as read it does blue like woad. Might try to eat and dye with the lambsquarters and dandelion (keep seeing of its root doing red).
    Let me know when to send a enevelope,
    Be well
    Lynn D

  • While looking thru yard to see what has been growing, noticed a plant, part of my brain started jumping up and down saying, maybe that is woad! Is tiny, ~ 10″ and soft light yellow green leaves, spoonish shaped like your photos show. Will go water it some w stored rain water. Maybe it was from a packet from $tree, as cosmos was next to it (and a foot away was a gopher hole, put chili down). Hope you are doing ok as havnt seen new posts in awhile. Wish could visit your garden.
    Found this blog almost thought with yours – localcolordyes.com

    • jamie_work_admin says:

      Fingers crossed for your woad. I didn’t have any for a couple of years. The drought did in a chunk of my dye garden. Towards the end of the pandemic one of my friends from the weaving guild shared some plans. (Actually we were still in lock down. She passed them through the door. Those took off and are in fact now bolting so I’ll have seeds. For now the woad is is in large pots that can be moved. I’ve been a crap blogger and have to get pictures up.

      By the way, next week is So Cal Handweavers Weaving and Fiber festival (WeFF): <https://www.schg.org/festival>. Like everything else we took a bit of a hit during covid. It’s a bit smaller but still going.

      Last thing – thank you for pointing out localcolordyes – a fellow dyer on the opposite coast!

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