weaving workshop at the foot of himalayas....Rishikesh, India
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Dyeing with Madder
Madder was an important red dye in India as well as in Europe or in Japan.
Although hardly anybody seems to dye red with plants in India anymore, the  Indian Madder (Rubia Cordiforia L.)  is still available in the local druggist shops as it is used in Ayurveda.
This dye stuff is the root of a creeper, which unfortunately we have not seen yet in India. 
We would like to grow it in our new workshop premises, but have not been able to find seedlings in any nurseries around this area.

We dyed two kinds of hand reeled mulberry silks with Indian madder the other day .
The white one on the left is Tamaito, the double cocoon yarn, an uneven silk thread with a special touch.
The yellow one on the right is Nistari, which is indigenous in the South-South East Asia.
A primitive variety with the small denier filament.

Processed with the ash water as mordent, madder gives the scarlet color.
Nistari yarn (two skeins from the right) shows a little orangeish color, but the yellow shade will fade away in due time to be more scarlet.
Processed with alum as mordent, the madder will give more orangeish color.

Parva Tanaka