Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Fussing with Fustic

Fustic Natural Dye, Chlorophora tinctoria, or Maclura tinctoria, known also as Old Fustic, is extracted from the heartwood of a tropical tree native to the Americas.
 It is related to the mulberry tree and sometimes called Dyer's Mulberry.
It yields is a very vibrant yellow dye, which has been used throughout history for textile dyeing.

Fustic Chips with Fustic Dyed Wool Yarn

It is not to be confused with Young or New Fustic, 
Rhus cotinus smoke tree or smoke bush, which is a European and Asian shrub that is relate to the cashew tree. 
New Fustic produces a lighter and less color fast dye and is grown as an ornamental shrub. 
It is also commonly called Venetian Fustic or sumac.

There are many dye plants that yield what is commonly known in natural dye circles as "weed yellows."
However, Fustic is one yellow dye that will not disappoint.
Fustic is a good dye for over dyeing, especially using Indigo, with the resulting color a good fast green, which is a color that is hard to obtain. 
It also gives good butter yellows to gold, depending  on the mordant that is used. 

Fustic Dyed Wool Yarn, Mordants left to right: Alum, Tin, Iron

Fustic Chips are available from our website, as are  other natural dyes and mordants for natural dyeing.

Fustic Chips

Also, depending on the time of year, we offer
 wool yarns dyed with Fustic, and dyed wool rovings .
At times, we also offer wool roving that have been mordanted  to enable you to natural dye your own rovings.

Natural dyes can also be used on silk and other animal fibers.
However, when used on plant fiber such as cotton, hemp, or flax, will yield more pastel colors.

                                        © 2015 Brush Creek Wool Works

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Red Sandalwood Tastefully Beautiful

Red Sandalwood Powder with Dyed Yarn Samples

The common names for Red Sandalwood are Red Sanders, Red Sandalwood, Sanders, Saunders, and Saunderswood.
Sandalwoods are medium sized trees, that are of the same botanical family as European mistletoe, and like mistletoe, form a hemiparasitic relationship with other trees or plants. 
Pterocarpus santalinus, is  a species from southern India, which was originally used as a dye material and also a spice in many Medieval Europe and South Asian recipes..
This tree is valued for the rich red color of its wood.
The wood is not the aromatic Yellow Sandalwood,  Santalum album, that is also native to South India.

The above two species are considered threatened or endangered.
Today we use the species Pterocarpus soyauxii for fabric and fiber dye, food dye, as a spice, and some Ayurvedic medicinal uses.

The dye in Red Sandalwood is not water soluble, i.e., it will not dissolve in water.
To extract the dye, one must soak the powder or fine chips in rubbing alcohol .
This liquid is then added to a water dye bath, being cautious as the alcohol is flammable.

Wool Yarn Dyed with Red Sandalwood

As with all natural dyes, colors will be effected by the mordant used to make the dye colorfast.
The above wool yarn was dyed with Red Sandalwood and the mordants used are from top to bottom:
Alum, Tin, and Chrome 

Food grade Red Sandalwood  and also Red Sandalwood  natural dye  is available on our website along with other spices and natural dyes and mordants.

                                   © 2015 Brush Creek Wool Works