Aniline is a chemical compound discovered in mid-nineteenth century Europe, which forms the basis for the modern synthetic dye industry. Aniline dyes are known for their wide range of bright colours that do not fade (unlike many natural dyes).

Indigo (Indigofera species) is a tropical plant of the genus Indigofera, which is a commercially important source of the blue dye stuff, indigotine. The most important indigo plant form is Indigofera tinctoria (also known as Indigofera sumatrana).

Ingrain is a textile term that refers to the fastness of the dye. It means that the dye does not come off easily.

For thousands of years, people in Africa, Asia and Europe have obtained a fast, red dye from the roots of the Rubia plants. The term Rubium comes from the Latin word ruber meaning ‘red’. The English word madder derives from the Old English mædere and can refer to both the name for a plant (Rubia genus) and the red dyestuff obtained from its roots.

Shell powder is finely ground oyster shell powder that is used for painting designs on a ground material. It is used in some forms of Japanese embroidery.

Weld (Reseda Luteola) is a native Eurasian plant of the genus Reseda, commonly known as dyer’s rocket, dyer’s weed or yellow weed. It is also the name of a yellow dye produced by the leaves of the plant. It is rich in luteolin, a flavonoid that produces a bright yellow dye.

Woad (Isatis tinctoria) is a flowering plant of the Brassicaceae family. It is commonly known as dyer’s woad or simply, woad. It is also the name of a blue dye produced by the leaves of the plant. The woad plant is native from the steppes and desert zones of Central Asia as far as the Caucasus, but is now also found throughout Europe.