Logwood Extract–Logwood (Haematoxylum campechianum) originates from the Yucatan region of Mexico. It is naturalized throughout Central America and parts of the Caribbean. It was also known as Palo de Campeche or Campeche wood. Like cochineal, logwood extract was one of the valuable dyes from the New World. As a result, Spain and England went to war over regions that were lush with logwood trees in an effort to control the lucrative logwood dye trade.
Logwood yields a rich, deep purple and was used as a base or “bottom” for the desirable dark purple and black colors of European fashion and aristocracy. It was in such high demand that in the 18th century, nearly all black dyed cloth was colored from Logwood. We use it today as a traditional textile dye, a laboratory stain and for dyeing sutures. Logwood by itself is not particularly lightfast, so keep from bright sunlight. Its lightfastness increases and the color darkens to a near black with added iron. In addition, if your water is neutral or acidic, a little soda ash in the dyebath will enrich the purple tone on wool and silk fibers. We carry a superior grade of logwood extract from managed plantations that produces rich purple shades. In powdered form.
- 25 grams of Logwood Purple extract will dye approximately 500 grams of fiber (1.1 pounds) to a dark shade
Making Green with Logwood and Weld
It’s not often that you can combine yellow and purple to make green, but weld extract and logwood will yield interesting chartreuses and greens, depending on the strength of the weld and logwood combination. We have tested this recipe on wool but are still testing on cotton and other fibers and will update once the tests are in. Our recipe is as follows.
Chartreuse – Use 3% weld on the weight of fabric and dissolve in hot water. Do not add any auxiliaries such as calcium and soda ash. Then measure and add 0.25% logwood extract and stir well. Add to a dye pot filled with enough water and carefully add a skein of wool yarn. Heat gently to 140F and hold for 45 minutes. Let cool and rinse with cool water, then air dry.
Leaf Green – Use 3% weld on the weight of fabric and dissolve in hot water. Do not add any auxiliaries such as calcium and soda ash. Then measure and add 1.0% logwood extract and stir well. Add to a dye pot filled with enough water and carefully add a skein of wool yarn. Heat gently to 140F and hold for 45 minutes. Let cool and rinse with cool water, then air dry.
Note: It is possible that your dye bath will appear quite purple. Do not freak out – give it some time and you should be able to see the green color appear. Have fun with this!