Natural Dyeing with Sappanwood
Sappanwood is a flowering tree, also known as the East Indian Redwood, native to Southeast Asia and India. The dye is made of the tree itself and is generally used in the form of sawdust.
Sappanwood has a long history of use as a natural dye for textiles, an ornamental tree, with its beautiful appearance, sprays of leaves and yellow flowers.
It also has a long tradition in Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, topically and internally, for a multitude of uses, making it highly valuable in trade centuries ago along the Silk Road.
Sappanwood most consistently shows as a true, brilliant red on a range of natural fibers and fabrics. It can be shifted a bit with adjustments to water pH and with alternative mordants. However, with Alum, a gorgeous, traditional red is easily created.
HOW MUCH DYE TO USE
Sappanwood 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 40 grams will dye approximately 40 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.
NATURAL DYE TIP
A great way to access more dye color is to heat the Sappanwood for 1+ hours over moderate heat. Then, let sit overnight before straining the next day for use.
NATURAL DYE RESULTS
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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.