Natural Dyes - Yellow

"Yellow is one of the most common colours found in nature and an abundance of natural yellow pigments, but yellow dye is also a natural dye that fading off easily. Yellow dyes that are commonly used in Indonesia are turmeric, tegeran wood, jackfruit wood, and mango leaves."



Turmeric is known to be from South Asia (Curcuma aromatica), turmeric was used as a yellow dye by the first Austronesian cultures to settle in the Indonesian Archipelago. Turmeric is one of the brightest and richest producers of all natural dyes. Turmeric can produce a bright yellow-orange colour so it will dye cotton well. However, turmeric has a drawback, because it is at the least light-resistant of all-natural dyes.


Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus) is a tree with a straight trunk that can grow to 25 meters tall. Jackfruit grows throughout the archipelago, from Sumatra to Tanimbar, Maluku and Papua. The sapwood or the wood core of the jackfruit produces a relatively stable yellow-orange dye. The colour resulting from the extraction process of jackfruit tree wood chips.

Mango Leaves and Skin

Mango (Mangifera Indica) is a tree that grows in the tropical rain forests of South and Southeast Asia. It can live for several hundred years and can reach a height of 40 meters or more. Mangoes leaves and bark can produce a variety of colours ranging from brown, greenish-brown, grey, and pale brown to yellow depending on the mordant used. The yellow colour can be produced from the extraction of the leaves and bark of the mango tree. Mango tree bark has a higher concentration of mangiferin pigment and tannins than mango leaves. Cotton threads absorb mango leaf dye better than mango tree bark dye.


Natural Dye article by Nidiya Kusmaya

The Udan Liris offers a harmonious dance of rain and life, the divine and the natural, the community and the individual. Each thread, each line, each angle is a symbol, a story, a prayer. Like the rain itself, the motif is both a blessing and a mirror, reflecting the complexities of the world around us, inviting us to appreciate the details of life and our place within it.

Batik motifs of this time and stature were often inspired by geometric shapes in nature. Batik Kawung borrows its design from kolang kaling, the fruit of the areca palm tree. Cut precisely in half, this fruit offers the oval and diamond shapes that are often seen in this traditional motif.

Of the many batik styles and stories embedded in each motif, none is known more for its illustriousness and prestige than Parang. Though this batik motif is worn outside the royal courts today, it still carries the reputation and cosmic wisdom embedded in its design. Here are some types of batik parang and the symbolism and stories behind them.