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Cutch Extract 2.5kg (5.5 lb.)

$150.00 $98.95

Cutch Extract – This powder is an extract prepared from steeping the wood of the Acacia catechu tree in hot water until a syrupy liquid immerges. This is dried and then ground into powder. It is common to most parts of India, Burma, Indonesia and Peru. Indian cutch is by far the most beautiful. It is a good source of colourfast shades of brown - cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Cutch extract contains tannin as well as the dye compound catechu. It is easily soluble in water. Cutch has excellent light and washfast properties. It requires 20-50% WOF to dye a medium depth of shade.

Mordanting for the brown colour: Use alum mordant at 15% WOF for protein fibres then dye as below.

For cellulose fibres either 1) Just use cutch alone at 15-30% or 2) for a deeper colour, use a clear tannin (like oak gall) and then alum at 15% and soda ash at 2% and then dye with cutch as below.

Dyeing: completely dissolve the powdered cutch (sometimes cutch will come a little sticky) in boiling water and add it to dyebath. 

Deeper colours can be achieved by first soaking the cutch extract in a weak mixture of caustic soda. Add 1 tsp lye or sodium hydroxide to 4 litres (1 gallon) of water. Soak for 1 hour. Then add more water and neutralize with acetic acid or vinegar to pH7. Add this neutral solution to the dyebath.

Fibres are then added and the dyebath is kept at a low simmer for at least two hours. Cutch does not easily exhaust and dyebaths can be used multiple times for lighter shades. 

The alum mordant yields toffee browns. The addition of iron at 2-4% WOF yields chocolate browns, while a soda ash rinse will redden the cutch colour. The addition of 2% WOF hydrogen peroxide during the final 15 minutes of dyeing will darken cutch considerably. Allowing the fibre to cool down and sit in the dyebath overnight will give the darkest shades.

For in-depth information on natural dyes see our Guide to Natural Dyes available on naturaldyes.ca. Also available as a Printable PDF.

Currently the largest sizes of natural dyes are priced at wholesale rates. Our rates reflect a growing discount as the size increases. See all sizes here.

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