Myrobalan (Terminalia chebula) – is a commonly used dye throughout India and grows primarily in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is an upright tree with small oval leaves and lovely bright yellow flowers. Myrobalan has always been used as a primary component for cotton dyeing in India and is often employed as a mordant prior to creating brown and black on cotton fabrics. Myrobalan extract overdyed with indigo makes a beautiful teal color. Using higher percentages of myrobalan yield a brownish yellow, while the lower percentages yield a light buff color.
This powder is super fine and smells slightly sweet, like cake mix we think but it is not edible.
This dye is the finely ground pods of the myrobalan tree, not a concentrated extract. Nonetheless, it is very high in tannin and a good source for mordanting cotton fibers if you want to experiment with using a traditional tannin as a mordant. Use about 15-20 percent on the weight of the fiber to make a bath, then soak scoured fabrics in this solution for an hour or as long as overnight.
Myrobalan powder is sold in 250 gram packages.