December 04, 2020

Reading the Dye Code on the Yarn Label

By Kathy Bachofer

I find it interesting to know what dyes are used to achieve a specific color.  I’m also interested in education and dye promotion so have decided to provide the base dye recipe when possible.  This will assist if you would like to order more of a specific yarn.  It will also allow you to try to replicate the color.  There are many factors that go into dyeing so there is no guarantee you’ll achieve the same color, but the base recipe is a start.


Bw Black Walnut

C Cutch

H Henna

I Indigo

My Myrobalan

Mc Madder (cordifolia)

P Pomegranate

W Weld


The quantity is provided in weight of fiber (wof) after the dye.  If an exhaust bath is used, the abbreviation E will be shown.

The exception is indigo where I note if is a light, medium, or dark shade using l (or blank), m, or d respectively after the I.

Other additives

Sa Soda ash

Yarn Base

At the end of each recipe the base yarn color is noted

W White

L Light Gray

M Medium Gray

D Dark Gray


Mc10H30W – Madder (Cordifolia) at 10% wof with Henna at 30% wof on a white base

IMy5L – Indigo light, Myrobalan at 5% on a light gray base

C20Mc20M – Cutch at 20%, Madder (cordifolia) at 20% on a medium gray base