The powdery coating of the seeds of the Kamala Tree (Mallotus philippinensis), also known as the Monkey Face Tree produces bright yellows and oranges when dyed.

Difficulty Level:


Time Required:

6 hours

Here’s How:

Measure out the required amount of kamala powder and add it to the warm dyebath.

I used 15 grams kamala powder for this sample. The kamala powder is difficult to dissolve in the water and will look like it is curdled.

You will need to add some washing soda to the water to make it alkaline. Add this 1 teaspoon at a time and stir the dyebath. Keep adding additional washing soda until the kamala is completedly dissolved.

Add the pre-mordanted wool to the dyebath.

I used 200 grams of wool for this dye sample. Let the wool simmer in the dyebath for about an hour, stirring it occasionally to ensure that the colour is evenly distributed. Turn off the heat and let the dyebath cool before removing the dyed yarn.


Rinse the dyed yarn in cool water with a bit of vinegar. The acidic vinegar will neutralize the effects of the washing soda, leaving the wool soft. If there is still a lot of colour in the dyebath, do not discard it, but use it again in a second dyebath or mix it with other dyes to produce different shades of colour.

Look for some of this yarn at my shop on Etsy.

How To Make an Alum Mordant
How To Make a Tin Mordant
Natural Dyes and Mordant Recipes
MSDS – Aluminum Potassium Sulfate

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