One of the oldest dyes, madder root (Rubia tinctorum) also known as “common madder”, produces an array of deep reds, vibrant terracotta oranges, pale pinks, and warm browns.
We source our madder from a farmer collective in India, bringing an important supplemental income to rural families in the area. Madder red is a valuable light and wash fast pigment produced in India for centuries. In order to properly dye with madder root, our powder should first be extracted into a liquid dye or paste.
For a clear, deep red, we recommend using alum mordant and calcium carbonate (chalk). After dyeing, iron can be used as a post-mordant for a muted purple. To make terracotta oranges, a mild acid, like cream of tartar, can be added. Our paste can be reused several times.
To ensure good color fixation pre-mordant with tannins, like our myrobalan, or our alum.