Textile Society of America



Bina RaoFollow

Date of this Version



Presented at “Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyber Space,” Textile Society of America 12th Biennial Symposium, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 6-9, 2010. Copyright 2010 Textile Society of America.


In India, the color yellow has many symbolic associations. My presentation on the subject will be a visual journey through the historic and religious significance of yellow in Asian countries. This will include Royal Yellow used in the court garments in Malaysia and Spiritual Yellow as part of the Buddhist monks’ attire in Japan and Thailand. Indonesians, Indians, Bangladeshis, and Sri Lankans also know that this color is both auspicious and medicinal. At my natural dye farm in southern India, outside of Hyderabad, we have derived varying shades of yellow from many natural ingredients and we have successfully incorporated them into our production of textiles for the fashion trade. This presentation will elaborate on the practices in India for use of natural dyes in textiles, through the extraction and application of yellow dye from Jack Fruit wood, marigold flowers, myrobalan gallnuts, and turmeric root. Standardization, propagation, cultivation of bulk supply of natural dyes for modern production, and the importance of designing the finished products for the global market is a key part of the discussion of the relevance of natural dye use today. The paper will address these issues.