Jump to navigation Jump to search
Fiddle and bow
MFA# 1987.195a-b


A brick-red wood obtained from sandalwood trees (Pterocarpus santalinus; ) native to tropical Asia. Sandalwood has a fine-grain with a straight or wavy pattern. The wood has been used for making cabinets and violins. It is also sold in blocks or chips for dye preparation. Sandalwood dye contains santalin as the primary colorant. It is soluble in alcohol but not in water. The fugitive color has been used for textiles and for tanning Leather. Similar water insoluble dyes are obtained from Barwood, camwood, and narrawood.

Feather fan
MFA# 1976.421

Synonyms and Related Terms

Pterocarpus santalinus; red sandalwood; sanders wood; saunder's wood; santal wood; shitan; byakudan (Jap.); padauk; bois de santal (Fr.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Dye is soluble in alcohol
  • Insoluble in water.
  • Density = 55-65 ppcf

Resources and Citations

  • G.S.Brady, Materials Handbook, McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1971 Comment: p. 689
  • Palmy Weigle, Ancient Dyes for Modern Weavers, Watson-Guptill Publications, New York, 1974
  • F. H. Titmuss, Commercial Timbers of the World, The Technical Press Ltd., London, 1965
  • "Violin Varnish Glossary" at

Retrieved from ""