Kateson | Ingredients |

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Hale Wood
(Wrightia Tinctoria)

This fast growing tree grows widely in Southern India. It is not treated chemically. The wood used by the artisans comes from non-forest land and private lands in Channapatna. The tree is partially felled so the tree grows back. All sections of the wood are used by the artisans. The woods waste (wood chips, wood dust etc) is used as raw material for the incense stick/ joss stock industry.


A non-toxic 100% natural resin which comes from the secretion of an insect “Laccifer Lacca”, which is found on certain trees. The substance is scraped off the twigs and branches of trees, cleaned and harvested.

(Curcuma Longa)

The turmeric plant is native to Southern Asia and is extensively cultivated all over India. The root of the plant is dried and powdered to obtain turmeric powder. Turmeric powder is widely used as a food coloring agent and is well known for its medicinal and herbal properties.

(Indigofera Tinctoria)

Indigo is a 2-3 feet long plant, cultivated on thousands of acres of land across India. The whole plant is used for extraction of dye. The extract form of dye is supplied in powder form. Indigo is a time honored dye and has been used since ancient times in the Indian subcontinent. Lac mixed with indigo powder when applied on wood gives a bluish black / bluish green color. When mixed with turmeric, the dye produced is green

Kanchi Kum Kum

Natural kim kum powder, considered sacred in India, is traditionally made by mixing turmeric powder with lime (calcium hydroxide) which turns the yellow turmeric powder into a red color. The name ‘Kanchi Kum Kum’ derives its roots from Kanchi, a famous temple town in Southern India, where they continue to produce this Kum Kum in the traditional method using natural ingredients. Kum Kum is mixed with Lac and applied on wood to get a bright orange color.

Indian Madder

Manjishta, also known as Indian Madder, is a creeper plant that is cultivated in the foothills of the HImalayas in huge quantities. The red colored roots of this plant are dried and powdered to get the dye. Alizarin is the substance in the roots that create the color. This powder is mixed with Kanchi Kum Kum to get the desired red color.


Catechu is the purified extract of the wood Accacia Catechu. This dye is mixed with lac and applied on wood to get light to medium brown colors.


This dye is made from the bark of the Ratanjyoth tree (Jatropha). Lac mixed with this dye gives a dark brown color when applied on wood.