Roots from the plant Alkanna tinctoria; also known as Anchusa tinctoria. Alkanet root apparently has been used as a dye since the earliest recorded history. The first reported use can be found in the works of the Greek botanist and scholar Theophrastus (c. 300 B.C.). The Stockholm Papyrus or Papyrus Graecus Holmiensis, details dyestuffs and techniques in almost a recipe fashion as it was practiced Egypt in the third and fourth centuries.
In dyeing, alkanet root gives burgundies and purples in an alkaline dye bath. Extracting first with alcohol enhances the color and then adding the extract solution to pre-mordanted wool or silk in a dye bath. Precipitated on an inert base, alkanet root yields a purple lake pigment. Also used in varnishes for fine wood products, such as violins.
- Alternative Names: Alkanna tinctoria
- Function: Natural Dye
- Form: Dried Roots
- Typical Use Rate: 75-100% weight of fiber
- Package Size: 4.0 oz.