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Glossary

 

chay - From chaya-ver. A red dye extracted from the root of Oldenlandia umbellata, found in the delta areas of Coromandel Coast, used with madder. [Guy, 187]

chintz - Most probably derived from the Sanskrit chitra, ‘variegated’, via Hindi chint and Gujarati chit, ‘spotted cloth’. In Portuguese chita, Dutch sits, French cite, chitte, Malay chita. The term came to be applied equally to painted and printed cloths; these are, however, distinguished in the trade records, commanding different prices. [Guy, 187]

hamsa – Sacred duck design. [Guy, 52]

indigo - From Sanskrit nila and Arabic ai-nil, via the Portuguese anil; widely referred to in trade records as nil. A dye extracted from the leaf of Indigofera tinctoria, producing a great variety of hues of blue. [ Guy, 187]

madder - The root of Rubia Tinctorum, which yields alizarin. This produces a red dye when combined with the mordant alum, a black dye when mordanted with iron, and hues of violet when alum and iron are mixed. [Guy, 187] Known in India as ail or al. [Guy, 20]

mordant - An ingredient used for fixing dyes in cloth, usually a metal oxide. It is applied to the cloth and combines with the dye in the bath, making the colour adhere to the treated areas. [Guy, 187]

sappanwood - A red dye source (also known as brazilwood), from the wood of Caesalpina sappan. [Guy, 187]

qalam - A bamboo and fibre brush, which is used to apply the mordant solution to cloth that is to be dyed. [Guy, 22]

 

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