s a m b u c u s * e b u l u s

last Wednesday, hubby & I went out for a long walk, around town. If you could see us, you'd see that we're constantly looking on the waysides, looking at plants, trees & flowers, that are oh so easily overlooked & forgotten about, more particularly when you're driving or when you don't care at all. But, we are by foot, and we care, and we are always on the lookout for new plants to dye with !

that's how we found Sambucus ebulus, aka danewort. We first picked it thinking it was elderberries, but once home, and atfer looking online & in our books, it was not elderberries (though it is an herbaceous species of elder), but danewort. (or Dane Weed, Danesblood, Dwarf Elder, European Dwarf Elder, Walewort)

we picked a paper bag full of these, only the berries, not the leaves. We used them the same afternoon for (hot) dyeing, of course. It smelled good, in my opinion. (the fibers are, as usual, mordanted with alum)

sambucus ebulus

hot dyeing with sambucus ebulus // dyebath

hot dyeing with sambucus ebulus // results

hot dyeing with sambucus ebulus // results

hot dyeing with sambucus ebulus // results

hot dyeing with sambucus ebulus // results

I must add that we have not modified it at all. I even made my best for the dyed materials not to touch any surface that had been in contact with soap or any detergent. I know it will be light sensitive, but for the moment being, it will stay away from the sun, waiting for me to use it.


  1. I have just recently been following your wonderful and informative blog Sonia! You're such an inspiration. Love the results that you're getting; so I thought that I would try it also -
    even though the season is passing quickly into winter. I hope that you don't mind that I mentioned your blog in my post.
    Thank you!

  2. What a great inspiration,
    and I love this color!

  3. i just picked a bagfull of these berries while hiking today, not knowing what plant they are, but being sure that i will find something about them on your blog.
    can't wait to dye some fabrics with them tomorrow.

    1. Just be aware that the color will not be lightfast.


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