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Dyeing with Sandalwood

Here is a bit of background on the tree:

The woods are heavy, yellow, and fine-grained, and, unlike many other aromatic woods, they retain their fragrance for decades. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the woods for use. Sandalwood is the second-most expensive wood in the world, after African Blackwood. Both the wood and the oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been highly valued for centuries.

Indian sandalwood is very sacred in the Hindu Ayurveda and is known in Sanskrit as Chandra. The wood is used for worshiping the god Shiva, and it is believed that goddess Lakshmi lives in the sandalwood tree. The wood of the tree is made into a paste using sandalwood powder, and this paste is integral to rituals and ceremonies, to make religious utensils, to decorate the icons of the deities, and to calm the mind during meditation and prayer. It is also distributed to devotees, who apply it to their foreheads or necks and chests. Preparation of the paste is a duty fit only for the pure, so is entrusted only to priests when used in temples and during ceremonies.


I take about 2 ounces of Sandalwood powder, put it into a Pyrex bowl with and then add some simmering hot water. Enough to make a 'thick soup'. I typically use a small whisk I used to use with my hair dye. Try to stir it as much as you can, without getting it everywhere. I allow it then to set overnight so that the color can easier go into a pot of water. I dye 10 skeins of yarn at a time and usually some mini skeins to keep record or add to my stash.

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