We offer the following traditional dye extracts in concentrated liquid or powdered form. Our natural coloration are easy to use and ofter healthful, creative options for a variety of creative applications. The dyes are grown, harvested and extracted with the environment in mind.
Color: Parchment to Elephant Grey
Sweet Chestnut or Castano is native to Italy and Southern France. It contains between 5% and 10% tannic acid. It is a subtle dye, used primarily as a base for other colors. Chestnut is used extensively in the leather industry.
Color: Fuchsia to Raspberry
Cochineal is a scale insect that feeds on the nopal cactus in arid areas of Mexico, Peru, Chile and the Canary Islands, and 85% of the harvest is cultivated by Andean
villagers, employing an estimated 400,000 families with this precious cash cop. It is the only natural red colorant approved by the FDA for food, drugs and cosmetics.
We offer an exceptionally high grade of cochineal extract. A potent colorant, cochineal is one of our most concentrated dyes - only need a very small percentage is needed to dye deep shades of fuchsia to raspberry. Cochineal is pH sensitive, and it is possible to shift its color to scarlet with the addition of acid. Use distilled water for dyeing if you live in a hard water area to obtain brightest shades.
Color: Caramel to Coffee Brown
The best Variety of cutch (Acacia catechu) is common to most parts of India and Burma. Cutch is used for many purposes, e.g. as a breath freshener and a diuretic. The extract is made by steeping the wood in hot water until the liquid becomes syrupy. The thick liquid is cooled, pressed, then cut into cubes and ground into a powder for dyeing.
Color: Old Rose to Bordeaux
Lac is a scale insect known from antiquity throughout India, Southeast Asia, Nepal and China. It can be found in both wild and cultivated form as an infestation on trees of the Ficus or raintree families. The word Lakh in Sanskrit means "hundreds of thousands", and it is still used today in India to denote 100,000. After the female lac insect invades the stems and twigs of host trees, the insects are enveloped by their own secretions. This hard resinous coating originates from the plant sap metabolized by the lac insect. The dye must be extracted from the resinous coating before it can be successfully used to color cloth. The resin is known as shellac, and is used for lacquer and as a protective covering for wood. Lac's active color ingredient, laccaic acid responds well to alum mordants yielding rich shades of crimson to pink and purple to burgundy.
Color: Lavender to blue purple and Natural Black
A seductive, brilliant purple, Logwood originates from the Americas; its natural range includes Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Venezuela and the Guyanas. Logwood was known as the "spiny tree" by the Aztecs because of its thorny, contorted trunk, which they used as a weapon. Logwood is not particularly lightfast, so keep from bright sunlight. The dye yields a grey lavender to blue purple.
Color: Mandarin to Burnished Orange
Madder is one of the oldest and most frequently used traditional dyestuffs known to man. It has extensive history in Turkey, India and Iran where it is still being used. The secret for Turkey red, a deep rich madder red color, was guarded for centuries throughout Central Asia. To this day, madder red is still considered a mysterious color. Madder dyes to its truest colors with an alum mordant in hard water at temperatures that do not exceed 160 F. We provide a very strong madder extract that yields lovely, deep orange-red to deep red colors
Color: Light Yellow
Myrobalan (Terminalia chebula) is a commonly used dye throughout India and
grows primarily in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is an upright tree with small oval leaves and lovely bright yellow flowers. Myrobalan has always been used as a primary component for cotton dyeing in India and is often employed as a mordant prior to creating brown and black on cotton fabrics. Myrobalan extract overdyed with indigo makes a beautiful teal color.Using higher percentages of myrobalan yield a brownish yellow, while the lower percentages yield a light buff color.
Color: Ground Sky Blue to Midnight
Indigo - Indigofera tinctoria - Indigo is the only natural blue dye used by many cultures in unrelated places on every continent. Each culture, each village, each dyer has a unique way of making the magic of indigo work, and there are rituals surrounding the success of the extraction and dye process. Stories unfold about why this vat was successful and another failed. Our indigo is extra-strong, finely powdered and easy to use. This particular indigo is ideal for producing greens when overdyed with any of the yellow dyes, and you can obtain lime green to forest depending on the dye and number of dips. We offer two recipes - a traditional fermentation vat, and a chemically-reduced vat. We recommend a mild alkali and thiourea dioxide to reduce the chemical vat. Note: you will need to obtain a small amount of sodium hydroxide (household lye) to make your indigo stock solution. This can be purchased at a local
hardware store or online from soap-making suppliers.
Color: Sunflower to Gold
The osage tree was named after to Osage Indian tribe of Oklahoma, Texas and Arkansas. The wood is dense and resistant to rot, which made it the perfect tree to naturalize in the great western prairies, where they were planted in hedgerows to protect the wheat fields from wind erosion. Now, osage trees have overgrown many of these fields and are being cut down and burned. Its use as a dye source revives its importance, and our supplier creates this colorant using solar powered technology and downed trees. Our liquid extract is quite potent, yielding a clear yellow dye with an alum mordant, perfect for overdyeing with indigo for emerald greens. Wasabi and sage are possible with a touch of logwood grey.
Color: Gold to Khaki
Pomegranate, with its deep red rind and ruby-colored flesh, is known as Anar in India and Granado in Spain. It grows wild in India, Italy, North Africa andChina. The rind of the fruit is used for the deepest yellow color, although the bark contains more tannin. The rinds are a waste product of the pulverized seeds which are used as a spice in India. Pomegranate is an aromatic dye that yields an especially nice green-yellow color. The age of the fruit affects the color of the dye: the less ripe the fruit, the greener the yellow. Pomegranate has a high tannin content which when combined with iron gives a yummy deep moss green.
Color: Peach to Brown Rose
Quebracho grows only in the jungles of the Gran Chaco, an area along the banks of the Paraguay River. The entire tree, bark to heartwood, has a distinctive red coloration, and the wood is quite heavy and extremely hard. The name is derived from the Spanish quebrar, to break, and hacha, an axe. It is quite slow growing, and therefore is harvested selectively from tree farms that participate in reforestation efforts. Quebracho has a long history as a tanning agent and as a dye. It is most suitable for dyeing cellulose fibers, but also performs well on silks, and yields a lovely pinkish peach to brown rose color.
Color: Honey Gold to Sienna
Quebracho(Schinopsis lorentzii) grows only in the jungles of the Gran Chaco, an area along the banks of the Paraguay River. Quebracho Yellow extract comes from the common Quebracho and the wood is quite heavy and extremely hard. The name is derived from the Spanish quebrar, to break, and hacha, an axe. It is quite slow growing, and therefore is harvested selectively from tree farms that participate in reforestation efforts, and our supplier has raised over half a million seedlings. Quebracho has a long history as a tanning agent and as a dye. It is most suitable for dyeing cellulose fibers, but also performs well on silks and wool, and yields a reddish gold color.
Color: Vivid Green- Yellow
Weld is a knockout yellow color, and the most light fast of the yellow dyes, used by ancient tapestry weavers in Central Asia, Turkey and Europe. Weld is the brightest and clearest yellow flower dye with a distinct green cast, from which an electric lime green is possible in combination with indigo. Our powdered weld extract is extremely potent, and benefits from either adding calcium carbonate to the dye bath, or a post bath of ammonia to brighten the color.
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