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Dyeing instruments

The production of dyes using natural products in the Andes entails a complex series of processes, each stage associated with different kinds of tools.


Grinding stones (molederas)

Instrument made of a mortar and a stone used to crumble, fragment and grind the raw material of dyestuffs (such as plants, barks, roots, wood or minerals) in preparation for the process of dyeing.


Dye pots (ollas para teñir)

Receptacle of ceramic or metal (often aluminium) used to prepare the dye, especially those like indigo or purple derived from shellfish, that require heating over a fire.

Fermentation pots (ollas para el fermentado)

Receptacle made out of ceramic, metal or wood which is used to slow cook plants or barks, even to the point of fermentation, freeing up the glucosides of the colorants.


Ladle (paleta)

Wooden utensil in the form of a long stick used to remove the hanks from the dye receptacle or pot.