Madder root - Madder is a beautiful, permanent red dye from the roots of a pretty, viney, low growing herb. It has been cultivated in Europe and the Middle East for at least 5,000 years. Similar wild varieties have been used by Native Americans and in the Far East. First quality ground roots make dyeing with this traditional dye easy. Steep the roots, add fiber and simmer at low temperatures to develop a dark red.