Living Homegrown

- The Podcast -

Live farm fresh

without the farm®

Preserve Like a Pro: Get my top sources for canning tools & supplies. (It’s free!)

LH 117: A Garden to Dye For

How to Make Color Dyes With Your Garden Plants

I love it when we can find multiple uses for the plants we grow in our backyards!

That’s what this week’s podcast is all about…using our garden plants for something different: Making Natural Dye

Now, you may be wondering what the heck you would dye with your plants.

Well, we’ve got you covered.

I brought on fiber and dye expert Chris McLaughlin to talk about all the things we can color using natural dyes. She walks us through the terminology and the techniques.

It’s super mad-scientisty. Ha!


You will learn:

  • What is a fugitive color (No, it’s not a criminal)
  • How do you use a modifier
  • What is a mordant
  • Can we use common household ingredients to change colors
  • Which plants work best
  • Step-by-step how to dye a silk scarf using flowers

Chris McLaughlin:

Chris McLaughlin at LivingHomegrown.comChris McLaughlin is a Northern California writer and author who has been gardening for over 35 years in every gardening situation she could think of. She’s the author of six books including A Garden to Dye For and Vertical Vegetable Gardening. Her current book on heirloom flowers will be released in May 2018.

Chris’ work can be found in Hobby Farm Home MagazineUrban Farm Magazine, The Heirloom Gardener Magazine, Now Mother Earth Living, and Fine Gardening Magazine. Online, she’s written for a variety of gardening sites including Vegetable,,, and From Scratch Magazine.

Chris and her family live on a flower and fiber farm in the Northern California foothills, where they grow flowers, fruit, and vegetables alongside their Angora goats. Hunt her down at her personal website Laughing Crow & Company.


Resources & Links Mentioned:

A Garden to Dye For – Chris’ Book

Raising Backyard Rabbits – Episode #85

Vertical Vegetable Gardening – Chris’ book

Darma Trading Company – Dye supplies


Click here for the full transcript for Episode #117

*denotes an affiliate link

Enjoy this podcast?

Sign up for updates & receive my free Canning Resource Guide

Preserve Like a Pro: Get my top sources for canning tools & supplies. (It’s free!)

About the Author:

Theresa Loe is the founder of Living Homegrown® and the Canning Academy®. For 9 years, Theresa was the Co-Executive Producer & Canning Expert on the national PBS gardening series, Growing A Greener World®. Theresa homesteads on just 1/10th of an acre in Los Angeles with her husband, two sons and several disorderly but totally adorable chickens. Learn more about Living Homegrown here and about the Canning Academy here.