Here is a list of general resources on using natural dyes for pysanky or batik eggs. This list will be expanded with time. You can see an extensive bibliography on pysanky and basic eggs on www.pysanky.info.
When buying dyes online, please check and compare prices and shipping/handling charges, some of them might be a bit of rip-off.
Resources in Ukrainian
- Світ у Писанках Тараса Городецького (2009) – probably the first mentioning of dyeing eggs with natural dyes, lists the plants, describes a basic recipe.
- Тетяна Влененко, Любов Ктіторова. Фарбуємо писанки природними барвниками (2015) – the whole book dedicated to dyeing eggs with natural dyes, has a chart listing plants and colors achieved with different mordants, and several basic recipes. Many photos of eggs dyed with natural dyes, unfortunately, the photos have no indications as to which dyes have been used.
- Ірина Михалевич. Фарбування писанки. Природні барвники (2018) – a 45-page booklet with general info and recipes (with photos) of dyes from 14 plants.
- https://danirra.dreamwidth.org – a blog of Ірина Михалевич contains numerous recipes, photos, step-by-step descriptions of dyeing eggs with natural dyes. She has also just published a booklet on making and using natural dyes, see above.
- Школа Писанкарства “Ряст” Facebook Group – a Ukrainian language Facebook group owned by Ірина Михалевич where she posts hers and others’ experiences of dyeing eggs with natural dyes
Resources in English
- Translations of the parts of Taras Horodetsky’s book, the section “letters” contains his experiences with natural dyes used on eggs www.pysanky.info.
- A Pennsylvania German legacy in All-Natural Egg Dyeing by Coleen McCauley – a 90-page booklet on natural dyes for eggs, recipes of 18 plant dyestuffs, many with different mordants, and with photos.
- Traditional Old-World Easter-Egg Coloring Techniques: a DIY manual for creating colorful Easter eggs with natural vegetable dyes and European methods by Karren Doll Tolliver, – don’t have this book yet, will edit once I have it.
- Natural Dyes for Pysanky and Batik eggs – our English language Facebook group, with open membership and posting privileges.
You can also see more information on books, mainly on natural dyes, but also on eggs, in the Book Reviews section of this website.
Supply Stores in Canada
- https://maiwa.com is a Vancouver-based resource that sells natural dyes for fabrics and has a very useful free booklet for download with specific recipes for each dye they sell. Among the dyes that they carry, the ones that have worked for eggs to some degree are: Brazilwood, Buckthorn, Chamomile, Cochineal, Coreopsis, Dyer’s Broom, Logwood, Madder, Marigold, Safflower, Walnut, Weld. They also sell both alum (potassium aluminum sulphate) and iron (ferrous sulphate) mordants.
- http://yuyo.ca a Halifax-based company that sells natural dye extracts (some of the above) and alum mordant in their textile section.
- http://www.fibregarden.ca/ another fibres/yarns store based near St.Catherines, ON, it sells a number of natural dyes.
- http://herbies-herbs.com a store in downtown Toronto which sells bulk herbs (also online), many can be used for dyeing. (556 Queen St. West, Toronto, ON, M5V 2B5, 416-504-5755) Dried herbs that have worked for eggs to some degree are: Chamomile flower (Matricaria chamomilla) – yellow with alum; Coltsfoot leaf (Tussilago farfara) – yellow with alum, black with iron; Elder berries (Sambucus nigra) – brown with alum; Elder flowers (Sambucus nigra) – yellow with alum; Madder root (Rubia tinctorum) – orange, red, brown, no mordant; Malva flower (Malva sylvestris) – green with alum.
Supply Stores in US
- https://botanicalcolors.com Seattle company, sells both extracts and dried dyestuffs, and some seeds.
- https://www.dharmatrading.com/ they sell natural dye extracts.
- https://www.mountainroseherbs.com this used to be my favorite herbal tea company, their tea mixes are heavenly, but they also sell bulk dried herbs, many of which can be used for dyeing.
Supply Stores in UK