natural dyeing, annato

colors of the sun caught in a spidery web

This post is inspired by a culinary spice. Annato seeds, or achiote is indigenous to Latin and South America. It is used both as a culinary spice and as a dyestuff. The fruit is covered with thick spiky hairs and inside the fruit are numerous dark red seeds. The seeds are harvested, ground to a powder and used in cooking as spice and as a coloring additive in some varieties of cheeses. Annato seed is widely used in Latin American,  Caribbean, Mexican and Filipino cuisine. When used in dyeing, the seeds yield a bright yellow to orange color. Below are pictures from today’s experiment–I am happy and thrilled with the results.

color from annato, after simmering for an hour.

an animated clip showing the opening process.

wet fabric with patches of reddish orange annato paste. the spider web design reminds me of a nursery rhyme, itsy spider

a handmade ceramic gift from my daughter, which I displayed it proudly in the garden

a perfect color accent for this scarf

pretty yellows–a happy color

The itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the water spout
Down came the rain
And washed the spider out
Out came the sun
And dried up all the rain
And the itsy-bitsy spider
Climbed up the spout again

*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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2 Responses to natural dyeing, annato

  1. Raisa says:

    Beautiful scarf, Melinda! Love the color. So bright.


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