Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Red Sandalwood

This is Pterocarpus Santalinus by technical name. I use it here because in some books it's called Sanders Wood or Sandal Wood. This photo is too dark. The pink color is the *wrong* side of the cane, the pink/yellow color is the *right* side of the cane.

I used the recipe for this wood similar to the Brazil Wood recipe, except I presoaked the cane in the Tin solution before putting it in the dye pot - the color after this should be a lemon yellow and although some of the cane did indeed reach a lemon yellow in color it was not consistent, so I may not have used enough. The recipe I was using called for 1 1/2 oz of Tin in the solution. I also didn't use enough of the Sandal Wood in the dye pot, so the original color of this cane was a pale salmon/yellow color. I also added some Soda Ash to the dye pot and some alum, with no change in the color resulting.

It was very pretty but not quite dark enough and too much yellow in it. So I re dyed it after seeing how well the Brazil Wood had turned out. So this cane started out pretreated with a multitude of things but the second dyeing did enhance the color significantly. It is now a richer salmon color with the yellow being subdued.

Tin or red spirits, it is sometimes called, is a main mordant for getting a red color out of natural dyes. Sometimes used with Cream of Tartar.

Some recipes call for using alcohol to soak the Sandal Wood in to unlock the red dye it contains, suggesting that this is the only method in which you can obtain the red dye.

This dye stuff takes a long time for dyeing as well.

Second Recipe:

1. 2 gals of water (my cane was no longer in a nice flat coil, so to compensate for the bunchier coil, I used 2 gals of water but normally you can use 1 gal of water);
2. Add one cup of table salt;
3. Add water softener if you have hard water;
4. Add 4 oz Sandal wood (this usually comes in a power form rather than wood chips, although both are available in some places);
5. Bring the dye pot to a boil;
6. Add the coil of cane;
7. Let is simmer for about 40 minutes or longer;
8. Take the cane out of the dye pot and add 1 tablespoon of Tin (you can always add more if necessary - the recipe suggested 1 1/2 ounces);
9. Let it simmer for another 2 or more hours.

Some recipes call for adding a pre mordant of tannin; other recipes also use Alum which also gives a really nice salmon color; and some suggest using copper as a modifier for claret-browns; and Iron modifier will make it much darker in color.

Brazil Wood

If you're looking for a really great red for cane give Brazil wood a try.

Recipe for Brazil Wood on Cane:

1. Soak 4 oz of Brazil Wood pieces in about 1 to 1 1/2 gals. of water over night; then boil it for an additional hour the next day;
2. Add 1 cup of table salt or salt of your preference;
3. Add a touch of water softener if you have hard water;
4. Add 1 lb of cane and let it simmer for about 1/2 hour;
5. Take the cane out and pour in Tin mordant to the mixture (I took 1 tbs of Tin and dissolved it in a small bowl before pouring it into the dye pot)
6. Now re add your cane to the mixture;
7. The cane will almost immediately begin to turn a deep red - let it remain in the dye pot for another 15 minutes or until you have reached your desired color - I left mine in for an additional 20 minutes.

This dye works remarkably well on cane but you won't see the red until you add the Tin to the dye pot.