Kamala comes from the Mallotus philippensis tree that grows in tropical India. It is an Ayurvedic plant, and used in traditional medicine. The dye comes from the seeds of the tree, which can grow up to 75 feet in height. It needs 1% soda ash added to hot water in order to dissolve fully, and works best with protein fibers such as wool and silk.
Amounts to dye: Use Kamala at 10-20% wof for a vibrant mango-colored hue. A 100 gram package will dye up to 500 grams (1.1 lbs) of protein fibers. You may need to use more Kamala dye on cellulose fibers to achieve more saturated shades.
From our Feedback Friday series:
I want to try out your Kamala and just read that it needs 1% soda ash added to hot water in order to dissolve fully. Do you dissolve it first in the hot water and then add the dye or vice versa?
We normally put the Kamala in a container, add hot water, and then add soda ash and stir. However, sometimes adding soda ash to hot water causes excessive foaming, so it’s fine to dissolve the soda ash in a little hot water first, then add it to the container of Kamala.
How light and washfast is kamala?
It is medium washfast on protein fibers and on cellulose fibers it is less washfast.
In the spirit of election season, our Kamala is going to support something really great. Besides being the name of a woman we like a lot, a portion of the proceeds from the dye will be donated to the Black Heritage Society of Washington State a group working hard to preserve Washington State’s rich African American history and culture.