Vegetable dye

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Quillwork panel
MFA# 1992.521


Any natural organic colorant obtained from lichen, fungi, or plants (wood, bark, roots, leaves, fruits, or flowers). Vegetable dyes are usually water-soluble extractions that are then precipitated onto substrates, fibers, or mordants. Examples are Indigo, Logwood, Madder, Archil, Chay root, Morinda, Alkanet, Purpurin, Turmeric, Turnsole, Lokao, Henna, weld, Saffron, and Buckthorn berries.

Synonyms and Related Terms

vegetable dyes; vegetal dyes ; teinture végétale (Fr.); colorant végétal (Fr.); colorante vegetal (Esp.); corante vegetal (Port.)

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 283
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • John and Margaret Cannon, Dye Plants and Dyeing, Herbert Press, London, 1994