Natural Dyes - Black

Black is one of the most difficult colours to reproduce, especially using natural plant dyes. A good black pigment should absorb light evenly across the light spectrum. In Indonesia, the most common method of obtaining black colour is to combine indigo with tannins or morinda, or post-mordant tannins using ferruginous mud.

 

Indigo Combined with Tannins or Morinda

Black dye, which can result from darkening the indigo with a brown or reddish pigment, sometimes with the addition of iron mordant. In some cases, tannins are added to indigo. In the Sikka region on the island of Flores and on the island of Lembata, the colour black is obtained from dyeing indigo with morinda. On the island of Sabu, the colour black is still obtained by dyeing the morinda with indigo.

 

Sumatera

In the Minangkabau highlands near the fields, black dye is obtained from boiling threads in a mixture of water, the bark of jiraq (Symplocos fasciculata) and rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum). In Bengkulu, the black colour is obtained from a solution of timboe water (boiled indigo leaves), sometimes mixed with lime, and noni roots and sometimes also mixed with the bark of a clay tree called sebasa wood.

 

Kalimantan

In Dayak, they dye the threads with morinda and indigo. Some people in the Dayak iban tribe get their colour black by first dyeing their threads red using Engkerbai leaves (Psychotria viridiflora) and lime, and then dipping them in indigo.

 

Jawa

On the north coast of East Java, indigo dyeing with soga tingi is called nyoga, a term that may also be applied to indigo coloring with morinda. In Banyumas, Central Java, the black color is achieved by dipping the threads in indigo, then soaking three times in a soga dye bath made of ground soga bark (Peltophorum ferrugineum), drying it, then soaking three or four times in indigo.

On the outskirts of Cirebon, they produce reddish black thread for export to Pekalongan. This thread is obtained in two ways, namely the red thread that has been colored with soga bark and mixed with black clay and aniline dye. After drying and removing the clay from the threads, they soaked in indigo for five days. The second method, dyed white thread with dark indigo blue then rubbed in soga and aniline dye.

 

On the north coast of East Java, indigo dyeing with soga tingi is called nyoga, a term that may also be applied to indigo colouring with morinda. In Banyumas, Central Java, the black colour is achieved by dipping the threads in indigo, then soaking three times in a soga dye bath made of ground soga bark (Peltophorum ferrugineum), drying it, then soaking three or four times in indigo.

 

On the outskirts of Cirebon, they produce reddish-black thread for export to Pekalongan. This thread is obtained in two ways, namely the red thread that has been coloured with soga bark and mixed with black clay and aniline dye. After drying and removing the clay from the threads, they soaked in indigo for five days. The second method dyed white thread with dark indigo blue then rubbed in soga and aniline dye.



Mangosteen

Mangosteen (Garcinia mangostana), is a tree that has an upright trunk and can reach a height of 7 to 25 meters. The dye from the mangosteen comes from the bark, bark, and roots.

In Sumatra, local black dyes are generally made from a 'mangosteen rind layer' and katapang (Terminalia catappa). The Minangkabau uses the same dye to blacken the blue cloth imported from western India.

 

In Java, black dye is made from the bark of some "exotic" trees combined with mangosteen rind. When making batik, black dye is made from mangosteen rind mixed with tingi stem bark (Ceriops tagal) which is treated with an alkaline solution made from rice husk ash.

 

Rambutan

Rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) is a tropical tree that can grow to about 9 to 25 meters tall. Rambutan rind is used to produce black. In Lampung, Sumatra, black dye is extracted from the bark of the rambutan tree.

Indonesian Bay

The Indonesian Bay (Syzygium polyanthum), formerly known as Eugenia polyantha is a tall tree that grows to a height of 30m. Locally known as salam in Indonesia. In Lampung, Sumatra the bark of the 'salam tree is used to produce black and the leaves a dark brown colour.



By Nidiya Kusmaya