Sappanwood Sawdust


In stock (can be backordered)


Sold in 100 gram packages.

Sappanwood sawdust is native to SE Asia and India and makes a rich, pinkish red when calcium carbonate is added to the dye bath. It is one of the “exotic” red wood dyes. People traded it along the Silk Road and medieval dyers often used it. When used from 50-100% on the weight of fiber (WOF), the color is a rich deep red on wool. You can reuse the dye bath and the sawdust until exhausted, creating lighter shades. For details on how to use the sawdust, please visit our how to page.

We like to extract the color by simmering sappanwood sawdust in water for an hour, then letting it soak overnight. The next day, strain out the sawdust and reserve, then use the soaking water as your dye bath. You may add more water to the dye bath to cover the mordanted fibers. Then gradually bring to 160F and hold for 45 minutes.

If you want to create magenta and fuchsia tones, add 1-2% calcium carbonate (chalk) to the dye bath before adding the mordanted fibers.

Check out this fascinating article on Medium on the history of sappanwood in the 15th century!

Additional information

Weight 110 g
Dimensions 6 × 4 × .5 in


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