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Gambier cube


A yellow dye and tannin extracted from the leaves and stems of Uncaria gambier of the madder family. The woody vine is native to India, Malaysia, and the East Indies. A hot water extract contains the yellow dye catechin (7-33%), along with the reddish tannin catechutannic acid (22-50%). Gambier produces a pale yellow light fast color on cotton. For tanning, gambier is produces a soft porous leather and is most often used in combination with other tannins.

Ground gambier

Synonyms and Related Terms

gambier (Fr.); Uncaria gambier; gambir; gambier cutch; pale catechu; white cutch; Bengal cutch; yellow cutch; cube cutch; tara japonica; terra japonica; plantation gambier; Singapore cube; gambier bulat; gambier papu;

Other Properties

Slightly soluble in cold water. Soluble in boiling water, alcohol, acetic acid, alkalis.

Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • John and Margaret Cannon, Dye Plants and Dyeing, Herbert Press, London, 1994
  • F. Crace-Calvert, Dyeing and Calico Printing, Palmer & Howe, London, 1876
  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Matt Roberts, Don Etherington, Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books: a Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington DC, 1982
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The Merck Index, Martha Windholz (ed.), Merck Research Labs, Rahway NJ, 10th edition, 1983 Comment: entry 4371
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998