Natural Dyes

Cornelis Ndapa Kamang, Lambanapu, Sumba

Cornelis Ndapa Kamang, Lambanapu, Sumba
Picture 1 of 11

Most of the natural blues, reds, blacks, purples, and browns on traditional Indonesian textiles derive from two vegetable dyes: indigo blue, from the shrubs Indigofera tinctoria and suffruticosa, and morinda red, from trees in the genus Morinda. With patience and skill, master dyers carefully manipulate each ingredient in a dye recipe and each step in the dyeing process to obtain bright, muted, energetic, or quiet colors.