Logwood in this form yields a brilliant purple from sustainably managed plantations. 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. The symbol of Belize includes logwood harvesters and the region is renowned for its exceptional logwood.
Logwood yields a rich, deep purple. Therefore, it 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, so 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.
The logwood is in sawdust/wood chip form. Use repeatedly until there is no more color. Sold in 100 gram quantities and includes instructions.
- 100 g of logwood chips will dye approximately 600 grams (24 ounces) of fiber a deep shade. There will be enough dye leftover for exhaust baths.