top of page

What is Quebracho Red (Rojo)?

Quebracho itself is a name to describe a very hard wood tree species with a density of 0.9-1.3. The name is actually derived from quiebrahacha, or quebrar haha meaning "axe-breaker" or extremely hard to break. These trees grow predominantly in the Gran Chaco region of South America, and are of the family Anacardiaceaue, and simply known as Schnopsis lorentzii or red quebracho. As the dye extract is derived from this woody plant, they are naturally high in tannins, around 25% to 25% so are particularly good for dyeing cotton or other cellulosic fibres, yarns such bamboo, hemp, banana and rayon. It can also be using as a tannin (an alternative to Gallnut) for when tanning cotton etc. Quebracho does also work well with wool and silk too! Quebracho yields a pinkish peach to browny rose range of colours depending on the fibres and mordants used. Iron, and alkaline (like soda ash) can modify the colour - however always do a trial run first!

When dyeing with Quebracho powder we recommend mixing approximately 30g with some warm water to form a paste. Leave the paste for between 1 hour or overnight to allow the pigment to work its way out of the wood extract. When ready to start dyeing, fill a saucepan with water and add the quebracho paste. Add the pre-wetted mordanted fibre and bring the dye bath to a gentle simmer and keep at that temperature from 30 minutes to 1 hour, gently stirring periodically. Remember for mordanting cotton, you will get better results if you use Aluminium acetate at 5-10% Weight of Fibre (WOF). As Quebracho is high in tannins, there is no need for a pre-mordanting tannin step. When dyeing silk or wool, ALUM mordant is recommended at 15% WOF.

Our packs of dye powder are supplied as 50 grams and this will dye approximately 500 grams of fibre (1.1 pounds) to a dark shade.

We hope you enjoy experimenting with Quebracho!!

281 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page