Bengala: Sustainable Mud Dye

Bengala is a mud dye made of natural and sustainable material mined from soil. Using the traditional method and modern technology, it brings us the ancient colors conveniently to a new textile dye for fabric, yarn, natural fiber and paper. Bengala lets us connect with Mother Earth like in ancient times, while allowing us to preserve resources through green living from now on.


Color of the Earth

Bengala (紅殻、弁柄) is iron (III) oxide that comes from the soil, and the origin of the name is from the Bengal region in India-Bangladesh as the process was found in that area. It is an ancient color, made from the oldest pigments, and has been used since the Old Stone Age. You can also see it in the Lascaux Caves in France and the Altamira Caves in Spain. It is said that the greatest quantity of red soil on earth is iron (III) oxide.

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Natural and Environmentally Safe

No heat or chemical mordant is necessary.  You need only to add water.*  Shake and knead the fabric in the dye bath to get the pigments onto the fiber.  As you work, the water gradually becomes clear.  That is because the dyeing material goes from the water into the fabric.  Left over dye solution can be reused by storing it in the fridge up to 5 days or drained into the ground. Bengala Dye is made from components that dissolve in the soil making for safe disposal.

The color is stable once the fabric is dried. It has gentle UV protection, and the color doesn't fade in the sun. Since it is something that comes from the soil, you can feel good about using something that is natural.

NOTE:  Bengala Pre-fixer is recommended for more vibrancy color and long lasting on any materials.

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Aijozome Indigo Dye


Aijozome is a new way to use indigo pigment. It's easy and uses no chemical agents — just dissolve it in water! 

Conventionally, Indigo dye needs to be reduced by an alkali agent to dissolve in water. Aijo is a pure indigo pigment that is extracted from fresh indigo leaves through the process of fermentation and precipitation process. It is 100% natural and safe unlike typical indigo dying, which requires a chemical agent to achieve its vivid color.

This Aizome dyeing method does not become dark blue because it can dye directly, unlike using other reducing agents. However, Aijozome Indigo is a beautifully harmonious with any Bengala colors and can also be mixed or over-dyed with Bengala to explore new colors freely. This indigo blue perfectly matches the earthy colors of Bengala!


NOTE:  Bengala Pre-fixer is recommended for more vibrancy Aijozome Indigo color and long lasting on any materials.

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Bengala Trial Kits


Who is the Manufacturer of Bengala Dye?

A manufacture of Bengala products, Nakajima Co. was established in 1965 in Japan as a craftsman of Bengala paints for temples, shrines, and wooden dwells. For long time, the natural Bengala stains were a mainstay for Japanese wooden buildings because of their superior characteristics of protection against termites and harmful UV rays, until a reduction in wooden structures. And as housing styles have modernized, bringing the importation of building materials, the cultural use of Bengala for painting has decreased.

In 1991, Kosyokunobi was launched as a new division of Nakajima Co. for textile dye. Through further research and development of the compounding techniques, and by utilizing the beauty of the earth color, Kosyokunobi succeeded in producing various natural colors only from soil.  Loop of the Loom is proudly introducing Bengala products as an authorized dealer of Kosyokunobi since 2012.