OSAGE ORANGE (Maclura pomifera): New World tree or large shrub with hard, yellow wood, found mainly in Eastern and Southern US states. Osage orange doesn’t have any direct European relatives but often used as a yellow dye substitute for English barberry, fustic, or weld. Native Americans made bows and other weapons from the hard, bright yellow wood and used the tree for medicine and insect killer. American pioneers called it Hedge Apple or Osage orange for its warty, inedible green orange-like fruit and used the hard wood for wagon axles, fence posts, and tool handles. They also planted Osage orange as wind-brakes and fed leaves to silkworms. During WWI dye chemical shortages, uniforms were dyed with this plant. Bark is a rich source of tannin.
Easy dye to work with, good on all fibers; best on wool and silk; lighter colors on cotton and other cellulose fibers. Light-fast and wash-fast. See the PIGMENT department for more information.
AKA: Bois d’arc, bowdark, bowdart, bow-dock, bow-wood, hedge apple, yellowwood, and a number of regional names. [USA]
Alum mordant: bright yellow
Copper mordant: old gold
Iron mordant: olive to gray-green
Tin mordant: bright yellow
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This product was added to our catalog on Friday 18 May, 2007.