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Brazilwood and Natural Marsala


Follow my adventures in natural dyes

Brazilwood and Natural Marsala

Megan Roach

One of the first natural dyes that Elyse and I thought of when considering Marsala was brazilwood.  This tree bark yields a spectrum of pinks to reds and provides consistent colors with minimal fading.  Brazilwood is a dye that we use often in both Adventure Textile and Littlewings Designs products.

We set up some basic controls in our Marsala experiment.  We started with a base dye, in this series the base dye is brazilwood, then we manipulated the base dye with over dyes and modifiers.  We used indigo and tumeric to over dye the base dye and used iron as a modifier to sadden the base dye.  We also used the iron modifier on each of the over dyed base colors for a total of six different colors that stem from one base dye.

We used natural dyes in both powdered and dried form that we acquired from suppliers.  We chose to rely on these types of dyes because we want to achieve these colors again with little variation.  It is also winter in Michigan and collecting dyestuff in a snow storm is quite difficult.

Marsala was not found in brazilwood, but we did find a bunch of other truly lovely colors.  Hope you enjoy the first batch of results!