Natural Dye Extracts from Couleurs de Plantes

by - Tuesday, July 13, 2010

These extracts are the result of a collaborbation between Maiwa and the French natural-dye research team Couleurs de Plantes. After years of research into dye plants, colour yields, extracts, and ecology, Couleurs de Plantes has perfected organic cultivation techniques and a sophisticated eco-friendly extraction process. We are happy to add the Couleurs de Plantes extracts to our own line of natural dyes and extracts.

Extracts easily dissolve in water and are so concentrated
that only small amounts are needed. They extend the art of natural dyeing into new realms giving the dyer both versatility and control. Here's what we have added:

Buckthorn species are native to the Middle East, and Mediterranean. Also known as Persian berries since the warm yellow colour comes from the unripe berries. Use cream of tartar along with mordants. Dyeing: Use extract on mordanted fibre at 2-6% WOF.

Chestnut trees grow in many parts of the world and contain a great source of tannin. They dye a warm brown colour. This dye is also well known for it’s ability to dye silk black with the addition of logwood and an iron mordant. Dyeing: Use extract on mordanted fibre at 5-10% WOF.

Cochineal is a parasitic insect that lives on the nopal cactus native to Central and South America. This dye has excellent light and washfastness and produces a powerful range of fuchsias, reds and purples mainly depending on mordents used and the dyes sensitivity to pH. Dyeing: Use extract on mordanted fibre at 0.5 - 2 % WOF.

Coreopsis has an abundant variety of plant species that are widespread throughout North and Central America. The dye is located in the flowers, which give a warm yellow - orange colour Dyeing: Use extract on mordanted fibre at 5-10% WOF. A reddish colour can be achieved when the pH level is more alkaline.

Dyer’s Broom or Greenweed is a small shrub that originates in the dry woodlands of Europe and has a long history of use for yellows. It contains the same colourant as weld, which is very lightfast. Dyeing: Use extract on mordanted fibre at 7-10% WOF.
Golden Rod is a wild flower found in North America and Europe where it continues to be a well known source of yellow. Dyeing: Use extract on mordanted fibre at 7-10% WOF.

Logwood is a bushy, thorny tree grown in Mexico, Central and South America and parts of Africa. The purple dye is concentrated in the heartwood of the tree. Dyeing: For a medium to dark colour use extract at only 1-2% WOF on mordanted fibre. Dye at temperatures no higher than 180 F and for no longer then 60 min or the colour will lack clarity and luminosity.

Madder (standard & rich) Madder is one of the oldest dyestuffs. It is most frequently used to produce turkey reds, mulberry and in combination with other dyes can yield crimson, purple, rust and browns. The primary dye component is called alizarin, which is found in the roots of the plant. Two concentrates of extracts are available giving a standard and a rich madder colour. Dyeing: Use madder standard on mordanted fibre at 5-10% WOF. Use madder rich at 2-5 % WOF. Do not allow the dye bath to go above 180ºF as this brings out the brown colour also found in madder.

Quebracho dye comes from a tree native to South America, which is very high in tannins. The dye can vary in colours from coral, warm red brown, yellow or green depending on the species. Dyeing: Use extract on mordanted fibre at 5-10% WOF. To deepen the quebracho colours add an alkali or iron mordant.

Weld or Dyer’s weed has been used as a dyeplant for many centuries in the Mediterranean, Europe and North Africa. It has been a long time favourite yellow due to its intense colour which has excellent lightfastness. Dyeing: Use extract on previously mordanted fibre at 7-10% WOF.

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