Natural red dyes have been used on textile fibre for four thousand years and there are at least forty different plants and insects that produce natural red dyes. Of these, dyeing with madder produces the most light-fast and wash-fast colours and madder dye is easy to grow in temperate climates.
Dyeing with cochineal and other reds obtained from insects is almost as light-fast as madder. Red-coloured woods, like brazilwood dye, yield vivid reds easily but they may eventually fade to brown. Safflower dye also produces reasonably good natural reds that gradually fade to pink.