Botanically known as Rubia cordifolia
Munjeet is a perennial herb. It has woody, long, cylindrical roots with red bark that gives the red colour. It has cream coloured flowers and small bluish-black berry fruit.
Part of the Plant Used
Mainly the roots are utilised for getting beautiful shades of orangish reds however in some areas people also use the woody stems as per the traditional recipes.
It is adaptable and has a very wide ecological range with an extremely large area of distribution ranging from Africa to tropical Asia, China, Japan and Australia. It grows in all the mountainous regions of India and Sri Lanka.
Dyeing with Madder
Munjeet has been the main source of red dyes for wool, silk and cotton in north and northeastern India, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and Tibet. Used the same way as dyer’s madder, best results are achieved by extraction of dye colour at 70ºC. Some other dyestuffs are also added to the dye bath like dhawai or dhauli (Woodfordia friticosa) for better colour results.
*Also can be used as Soap Making Colorant and Candle Making Colorant.
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