natural dyeing, brazilwood

deep red color rosette from brazilwood

It’s the end of august already? How time flies–it seems to me as I am getting of age, each passing day goes by ever so quickly. When I was a teenager growing up in Malaysia, I always wondered why it took so long for me to grow up to be an adult. Instead now, it’s the other way around. Nevertheless, life is good but sometimes I wish the pace is a bit slower.

Today, like any other weekend-was a day for me to play and experiment outside in my little “studio’. And the post today is an interesting dye from a certain wood call brazilwood, named after a country. Can you guess what it is?

Brazilwood (caesalpinia echinata), or sappanwood is a tropical hardwood, discovered by the Portuguese explorers who found these trees growing on the coast of South America. They also found that the heartwood of the tree yields a brilliant red pigment (brazilin), which was ideal for dyeing, thus making the trees a lucrative commodity for trading. Following are results from the various experiments I made using this dye.

R-L: powdered dye; crimson red color dye bath from brazilwood.

deep rose color arranged in a rosette. This is the background, applied to a “fold and clamp” or shibori technique.

itajime shibori, technique with triangle-shaped resist. Then the bundle was over-dyed in indigo dye bath for a purple color

here, I applied the same method as above, using a hexagon resist, and then over-dyed in indigo.

another piece clamped with round resist and dyed in brazilwood

yet, another shibori technique that I love–arashi shibori, or pole wrapping.

The red has somehow turned into violet purple, and white was a result from the tied markings which acts as resist in this technique.

a tunnel of purples and whites

so much fun pulling and stretching the folds.

*Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Melinda Tai and Obovate Designs with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. Thank you for visiting, I welcome all your comments.

“A smile is worth a thousand words, live happy, dye happiest.”

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