The goal is to cultivate, responsibly harvest and transform natural dyes (for textile arts and cooking among other things) in the Cocagne watershed, in order to conserve age-old knowledge, transmit it to residents, and value knowledge bearers (elders and new generations). All the while, we aim to raise awareness as to the importance of local dye plants, their ongoing protection and their uses as alternatives to chemical dyes.

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Want to try natural dyes at home?

Check out these recipe cards to dye fibres in different hues of yellow. Goldenrod, tansy and onion skins offer a rich array of colour in the yellow family.

Start with the What you need, Mordanting and General information cards, then begin dyeing with the plant of your choice!

A brief history

People have been dyeing fibres with plants for thousands of years; it’s only at the turn of the last century that synthetic dyes gained popularity, and they have almost replaced natural dyes.

Cocagne Country Colours is a project that aims to relearn and teach knowledge about natural dyes through workshops, practical educational cards and much more.

Join in on the natural dye inventory

Starting this spring, we’re organizing an inventory of natural dyes in the area and everyone can participate! Consult and print the inventory template to find natural dye plants in your surroundings (on your land or on someone else’s who has given you permission to do their inventory). Fill in the boxes and send the filled-in inventory back to us at the end of the season (end of fall).

This way, we’ll be building a map together of local natural dye plants and we’ll know where we can responsibly and sustainably harvest them.

Thank you and have fun! Check out our Facebook page!


We acknowledge the financial contribution of New Horizons for Seniors from Service Canada, the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture NB and Agriculture NB.

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