Tuesday, November 03, 2009



100 grams 1st...................700 cc..........300 cc. .....Total
of dried or
fresh dye 2nd.................700 cc...........300 cc. ..... 900 cc
3rd..................700 cc...........300cc.

First Extraction

Mix the dye material with 700 cc. hot water. Boil until 300 cc. of the liquid remains. This will take about 20 minutes. Strain and save the liquid.

Second Extraction

Return the same dye material to the pot and add another 700 cc. of hot water. Boil until 300 cc. of the liquid remains. Strain and save the liquid. Return the dye material to the pot and add the hot water. Repeat these series of extractions until all of the color is removed from the dye material.
Leaves, grasses and flowers may only need 1 to 3 extractions. Flowers such as marigolds that are rich in color may be boiled 4-6 times. Bark may need 4-6, leaves 2 extractions, and wood 8-10 extractions.
Roots, wood and bark can be softened by soaking overnight. To extract the greatest amount of dye, the dye material may be boiled up to 10 times or more. The process may be repeated as long as the material yields color. To extract more of the dye, after the first or possibly the second extraction, the harder substances may be softened sufficiently to be mashed, ground in a blender, pounded with a hammer or with a mortar and pestle.
The dye from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd extraction should be kept together. The 4th, 5th and 6th should be kept together and so on. After repeated extractions, the liquid will gradually become lighter and lighter as as more and more of the dye is removed. Sometimes the liquid from the second boil will yield the darkest extract. This is because the dyestuffs will have softened during the first boil.
The liquid from the 1st, 2nd and 3rd extraction will be used for the darkest color. The 4th, 5th, and 6th liquid for the medium color and the subsequent extractions for the lighter colors.
The extraction process will make a stock solution that can be used for both immersion and direct dyeing.

Sappan wood 1st......1500 cc.......400 cc.
Madder 2nd.....1500 cc........400 cc. to 1200 cc ..400cc
300 grams
3rd......1500 cc........400 cc.

After combining the liquids from the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd extraction. Add the total amount of liquid (1200 cc.) to a pot and reduce the liquid again by boiling to 400 cc. This will make a very concentrated stock solution.


Madder, sappan wood, and Brazil wood have similar coloring compounds. After treating the fabric with mordant, these dyes on cotton require the application of tannin to the fabric . Although cotton is in general very inert towards solutions of organic acids, it appears to possess considerable affinity for tannic acid, and will absorb it readily from its solutions.
If these dyes are combined with a high tannin bearing dye to make a new color, then tannin need not be used. Myroballan, sumac, gall, and fustic have high concentrations of tannin. In the mordanting of cotton for dyeing, 1 pound of pure tannic acid is equivalent to about 1 1/2 to 2 pound of gall-nuts, or 5 to 6 pounds of sumac leaves.

Tannic acid..........2% (1 gram)
Water.....................300 cc

As tannic acid is liable to suffer decomposition at the boil, giving rise to a brown color, it is not recommended to boil the mordant bath as the shade eventually obtained will be dulled. The tannin from this bath is not held on the fiber in an insoluble state. When the fiber is placed back into the dye some of the tannic acid passes back into the dye bath causing some loss of color. It is necessary to fix the tannin on the fiber by treating it again with the mordant.

INSECTS-Cochineal and lac
100gm.Cochineal 1st.......500 cc...2 grams soda ash...400 cc.

total stock solution 800cc

2nd......600 cc..................-0-.........400 cc.

Strain after each boiling, combine the two liquids for a total of 800cc.
To the 800 cc of remaining dye add 4 cc acetic acid and 20 to 50% phenol (as a preservative).
Do not add sodium alginate to cochineal if this dye will be used for direct application.
The addition of the soda ash to the cochineal will make a strong thick color. Finally strain the dye through a bag made of synthetic fabric to remove the last particles and sediment.



Natural dyes can be applied to fiber in two ways:

1. Immersion dyeing: Immersing the yarn or fabric in the dye liquid. Natural dyes can be used for ikat, batik and tie-dye.

2. Direct application: Applying color to fabric or paper by painting, printing, stenciling, and any other method that involves directly applying color to yarn, fabric, or paper.

The dyes can be used straight, diluted with water or mixed together to make additional colors. For the deepest colors it is best to apply the dye in separate applications, drying after each application. For immersion dyeing it is not necessary to dry the yarn after each dip.

The amount of applications depend on the depth, hue and value of color wanted. The dye from the first extraction is usually a nice clear color. The colors from the other extractions are sometimes a little grey due to the release of tannin from bark, wood, leaves and other substances with a high tannin content.