weld | reseda luteola | wouw

dye material: flowers

yellow | brown


Dyer’s rocket, dyer’s weed, resedas, wouw, weld – the reseda luteola is a plant with many names and a long history as a dye plant. This flowering plant is native to Europe and Western Asia and belongs to the Resedaceae family. It grows upright, producing small yellow flowers which pop up in little spikes.

The whole plant is rich in luteolin which contains the bright yellow color – hence the latin name luteola which comes from luteo, meaning ‘yellow’.

Up until the 19th century when the discovery of cheaper, synthetic dyes put many natural plants in the background, weld was the most popular source of yellow dye in the textile industry. Its use has been traced all the way back to the first millennium BC. In the Middle Ages, the strong, bright and clean yellow of the dye made weld the most common source of yellow in Europe. Oftentimes, it was also used together with blue dyes to achieve greens.


Reseda luteola typically blooms in its second year, producing tall spikes of yellow flowers. Allow some flowers to go to seed if you want to collect seeds for future plantings.




planting period
early spring or late summer

harvest period
late spring or early summer

pH 6,5-7,5

full sun to partial shade

every 2-3 days. during germination, the soil should be constantly moist. when the plant is established dry periods are okay but water once every two weeks.

0.6 cm deep + lightly covered with soil25 cm apart

2 years


to improve the chances for germination lightly scratch away the outer layer of the seed with sandpaper or a file, this can help with water absorption. the seeds are very small so it is recommended to mix them with sand for an even distribution over the planting area.

it is a low-maintenance plant, regularly check for weeds, mulching is effective against weed growth and to retain moisture in the soil.

flower harvest
for dye purposes, you should harvest the flowers when they are in full bloom. cut them at the base of the stem with scissors, tie them together into small bundles, and hang the bundles in a cool and dark place to dry. 

seed harvest
weld blooms with yellow flowers in the second year, allow some of the flowers to produce seeds so they can be harvested for future plantings.  



mordant dyes

aluin- mordant



+iron modifier