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

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