Logwood Project: Logwood Production
Dyes represent a means to return some wealth to many Third World countries.
The most coveted Natural Dyes require the tropical sun to create the strong
colors of red, blue, and purple. As more and more people realize the pollution
that is created with the use of synthetic, chemical dyes, more will want
to use Natural Dyes. The superior beauty of Natural Dyes is ultimately attractive.
There is a higher cost, initially, but the environmental and personal benefit
outweigh this, as more people are coming to realize.
However, there has been such a small market for these dyes for so long that
the channels of commerce have been broken. Even the cultivation and harvesting
have been neglected. In some areas, detailed knowledge and skills of preparations
have been lost, though fortunately they remain alive in other areas, and knowledge
can be shared.
of the dyes which has become scarce in the market is Logwood. This is a very
important dye, the dye used for purple and black. This tropical tree naturally
grows in the Caribbean Islands and the coast of the Yucatan and Belise. While
formerly abundant, it has suffered extreme overcutting as part of the general
deforestation that has happened and continues to happen worldwide. In most
places, it would be unconscionable to harvest the few remaining large Logwood
Fortunately, in the Dominican Republic, Logwood grows rapidly, and small trees
are fairly abundant. There, it is possible to sustain a level of harvest to
supply the art dye market. But for a future larger market, it is necessary
to increase the supply by planting many more trees. If planted now, trees will
be ready for a thinning harvest in about twenty years, and plots should produce
continuously thereafter. Our proposal is to purchase several small lots of
unused land, suitable for growing of Logwood, to plant trees on this land,
and to encourage other people to plant trees all over the island.
While waiting for these trees to grow, we will reestablish the infrastructure
for harvesting, aging, preparing, transporting, and distributing Logwood. Ecological
harvesting will be practiced, so that no wild stands will be depleted.
And, of course we will continue to promote the use of Natural Dyes, so that
the market for this product of the earth will continue to grow and support
this project. In this way, we may all share our relative wealth, and return
some value to parts of this planet that are desperately poor. By buying an
ecological dye or color you are helping the people of these countries to be
able to afford to care for their own environment.
For Logwood Natual Dye and natural fabrics and yarns dyed with Logwood go
to Aurora Silk's
Any help you can give is greatly appreciated!
Cheryl Kolander, Director