Look at that gorgeous pink color on that Eri silk yarn. Not all of our colors come from plants. This azalea pink is made with an ingredient from an insect's secretion. Lac is the name of this very tiny insect (Laccifer lacca) which is parasitic on certain trees found in our state of Meghalaya, India. This insect secretion is cultivated and cooked into a dye bath with plant mordants, and this is the result!
"Maintaining one’s culture, values and traditions is beyond price"
~ GINANO LUI
Gooseberry Tree Bark: A Natural Color Dye
Discovering and creating natural dyes from what’s available in their surroundings is something that the women in villages of Umden, Mawlong, and Margnar are proud of. Creating plant-based color is an heirloom knowledge that has been passed down from their forefathers.
Weavers collecting plants from the forest
Collecting, preparing, processing, and boiling the plants in the dye bath.
The natural color dyes are inspired by nature
Working Together As a Team
The women from the villages come together as a community where they laugh and enjoy their work to continue to preserve this unique tradition of natural dyeing. The Eri silk fiber is a protein fiber and it absorbs the natural dye bath so well. The color of nature is beautiful and everyone is in awe of what mother earth has to offer.
Weavers Carry on the Traditions of Their Forefathers
Kong B. Syiem and her weaving friends have now archived more than 40 natural plant-based dye colors.
The mordant used to make the color stick to the fabric is made from leaves and bark.
“I love discovering plants for creating dyes, I want to learn more it doesn’t matter if it takes a year learning is a continuous process”
~ Kong B. Syiem, one of Muezart's weaving partners