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Logwood ~ Getting Started

Natural Dyeing with Logwood

Gorgeous, dreamy purples are created with the wood shavings of Logwood. Whether you're looking for a deep, rich classic purple or the closest you can come to black with natural dyes, Logwood accomplishes the task perfectly.


Logwood is a natural dye from the heartwood of the Logwood tree. It is native to the Americas and now grows all over the world due to its important addition to the color palette in fiber and textile arts.


Logwood has been used to dye textiles for thousands of years by the Indigenous of Central America. It was then revered by Europeans upon introduction, as purple has/d always been a difficult color to achieve with natural sources, hence its expensive use to color only the finest and affluent. Before Logwood's expanded use beyond the Americas, much of the world relied on the limited and challenging collection and processing of shellfish and sea snails to achieve a similar hue of purple.

In addition to all of this, Logwood combined with Iron also creates one of the few truest-to-black hues achievable by nature, an important hue for so many applications in fiber and textile arts.


Logwood dyes in a range of rich and dark purple hues and can be shifted to black tones in large quantities or with the addition of Iron mordant. Iron will also make the dye more light-fast.


Logwood needs a pre-mordant for long-lasting results (wash fastness and light fastness). Alum or Alum in combination with a Tannin works well for this purpose.

In addition, the use of Iron, before dyeing or afterward, shifts Logwood to an even darker purple hue heading into black. The addition of Iron also strengthens Logwood’s light fast quality.


Logwood can be used at .5 : 1 ratio with the richest and darkest colors presenting when using a 1 : 1 weight ratio (weight of natural dye to weight of fiber/fabric).

This means that 25 grams will dye approximately 25 grams (dry weight) of fiber/fabric. It will continue to dye in lighter shades till the dye has been used up. Use less for a lighter hue and more for a darker hue.


Logwood loves the minerals found in hard water, so if you have it, enjoy the gorgeous results. It is also a dye that enjoys a long sit. A great way to access more dye color uptake is to heat the Logwood for 1+ hours over moderate heat. Then, let sit overnight. When dyeing fiber that you’d like darker, leave it to sit overnight before heating again the following day and moving on in the process.


Want to see what kind of results Logwood gives on different fibers (wool, silk, cotton, bamboo, etc.) and with different mordants? Check out the results here.


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For more information on Natural Dyes and each step of the Natural Dye process, check out "Intro to Natural Dye," ANINI Designs' 48-page eBook.

I cover everything I teach in my 4-hour in-person Intro to Natural Dye Workshops, in addition to offering eco-friendly adaptions to the process.


Subscribe today for more posts on fiber arts, weaving, natural dye and the intersection of each of these with the #mindfulmaking and #slowcraft movements. Cheers! - Jeanine


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