Every few months I experiment with new natural, plant-based dye colors for my handmade clothing business. Looking for a dye color that can become a year-round staple, I started playing around with the Cutch liquid from Botanical Colors -- the earthy color lives somewhere around a warm dusty rose color.
As a clothing designer and a consumer, it's rare to find linen clothing that is hand-dyed with cutch in the United States. I'm excited to be able to offer this new color for at least a limited time!
What will you love about cutch?
1. Cutch is lightfast/wash-fast:
Compared to other plant-based dyes like avocado pits, cutch (a tannin-rich dye) doesn't fade as much in the sun or when exposed to high heat.
2. Cutch is perfect for people who love pink, but don't want to be obnoxious about it!
I love a good pink, but I'm not your girly-girl kinda girl. I find cutch is the perfect way to bring pops of pink into my wardrobe without being over the top. It not only matches really well with other earthy tones, but I find this dusty pink pairs well with so many skin tones, too!
Which of our soft, natural fiber outfits will you wear in cutch?
What is cutch?
The life of the plant: Cutch, or Catechu is extracted from several species of Acacia tree, but especially Senegalia catechu (Acacia catechu), by boiling the wood in water and evaporating the resulting brew.
The plant is native to South and Southeast Asia. It is deciduous, meaning it sheds its leaves each year, returning the next year with new energy. It is noted for attracting wildlife.
The human history: As an astringent, it has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine as well as in breath-freshening spice mixtures—for example in France and Italy it is used in some licorice pastilles. It is also an important ingredient in South Asian cooking paan mixtures, such as ready-made paan masala and gutka. The catechu mixture is high in natural vegetable tannins (which accounts for its astringent effect), and may be used for the tanning of animal hides. Early research by Humphry Davy in the early 19th century first demonstrated the use of catechu in tanning over more expensive and traditional oak extracts.
See my previous post to read more surprising history about the use of natural dyes!