There are six commercial suppliers of pysanka dyes (those packaged and sold specifically for use in making pysanky) whose products I have used:

  1. UGS (Ukrainian Gift Shop, Minneapolis, Minnesota)

  2. Surma (New York, NY)

  3. Egg-Cessories (British Columbia, Canada)

  4. Pysanky Showcase (New Jersey)

  5. Wax Art Supply (Michigan)

  6. «Атей-плюс» (Lviv, Ukraine)

The UGS dyes are widely available through many pysanka suppliers, while the other four North American dyes are sold mainly by the merchants who compound them. The Ukrainian dyes are available throughout Ukraine on a seasonal basis.

The packaged pysanka dyes are generally custom blends of several colors.  The basic dyes are manufactured mostly in India and China, and then sold to North American dye companies. 

The most dye producers use many of the same names for their dyes, but the actual colors can vary a lot. The reds are a good example: UGS's scarlet (formerly bright red) is quite orangey, as opposed to the Eggcessories bright red, which is a full, darker red. The same is true for many of the other colors––there is much variation, as all are custom blends. It is worth trying them out to see which you particular brands you like for which colors.

How many colors are there from these dye makers?

  1. UGS: 17 different colors

  2. Surma: 13 different colors

  3. Egg-Cessories: 13 different colors

  4. Pysanky Showcase: 38 different colors

  5. Wax Art Supply: 20 different colors

  6. «Атей-плюс»: 10 different colors

The Pysanky Showcase dyes have a much greater spectrum, including several "brilliant" shades among the 38 offered, while the colors of the other brands are generally closer to traditional pysanka colors.

You can also try out commercial silk and wool dyes to color your pysanky, and add dozens more colors to your palette.  I have been using some Ukrainian dyes meant for wool; I use about half an actual teaspoon of dye to 1.5 cups boiling water, and add 1-2 tablespoons of white vinegar.  I’ve had good luck with all but the yellow and green so far.

North American sources for such dyes (and there are many) include the Dharma Trading Company and W. Cushing and Company.  If purchasing such dyes, make sure you order the acid dyes meant for wool, nylon and silk (all are proteinaceous fibers).  Do NOT order the dyes meant for cotton.

Sources for dyes:

Ukrainian Gift Shop

Ukrainian Egg-Cessories


Pysanka Showcase

Wax Art Supply

Dharma trading company

W. Cushing & Co.

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