Cúrcuma

Curcuma longa

Orden: Order: Zingiberales

Familia: Family: Zingiberaceae

Género: Genus: Curcuma

Especie: Species: Longa

Nombres comunes: Common names: Saffron from India, guisador, turmeric, zafrán.

Parte de la planta que se usa para el pigmento: Part of the plant used for pigment: Root tubers

Color: Yellow

Cúrcuma pigment on paper. 102 x 68 cm

Herbarium. Dried Cúrcuma leaves, sewn on rice paper.
77 x 57 cm. 2013

Monotype on rice paper made from the dried Cúrcuma leaves.
100 x 65 cm. 2013.

Planta

Plant

Cúrcuma. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Descripción general

General Description

Herbaceous plant that grows up to one meter in height. It is dark green elongated leaves stem from the base of the plant. The flowers, white to light yellow, are grouped on a circular pin that originates from the center of the plant. Recognized for its underground root system (rhrizome), brown on the outside and intense yellow orange inside, similar to ginger.

Cúrcuma. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

Originally found in tropical Asia. It has been domesticated in multiple regions of the world, including numerous areas of tropical America. It grows in different environments, usually dry and wet areas of warm climate regions.

Grating the Cúrcuma to extract the pigment. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Usos

Uses

Cúrcuma has been used in India for 4,000 years as a traditional substance for dyeing fabric, painting the body, and medicinal purposes. Currently it is used in cooking due to its color and flavor—notable for its role in giving curry its color—. It has a pungent, spicy and aromatic smell. As medicine it has been used to treat heartburn, arthritis, and as an anti-inflammatory. It has been attributed the ability to serve effectively in the treatment of some types of cancer.

Pigmento

Pigment

Cúrcuma produces a yellow pigment by grating the rhizome or tuber of the plant. The cúrcuma pigment is very effective because it sets well on fique (natural fiber), cotton and paper. It works well with lemon, which acts as a catalyst during the process, enhancing the intensity of the yellow color pigment. It requires fire in order to properly adhere to different surfaces.

Extracción + teñido

Extraction + dyeing

Huitillo

Renealmia alpinia

Orden: Order: Zingiberales

Familia: Family: Zingiberaceae

Género: Genus: Renealmia

Especie: Species: Alpinia

Nombres comunes: Common names: Chírica, guaiporé, ixquihit, monoj, naike, pintura negra.

Parte de la planta que se usa para el pigmento: Part of the plant used for pigment: Fruit shell

Color: (+ lemon = pink) (+ alum stone = purple)

Huitillo pigment on paper. 102 x 68 cm.

Herbarium. Dried Huitillo leaves, sewn on rice paper.
77 x 57 cm. 2013.

Monotype on rice paper made from the dried Huitillo leaves.
100 x 65 cm. 2013.

Planta

Plant

Huitillo. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Descripción general

General Description

Herbaceous, aromatic plant, which may grow two to six meters tall. Its oblong leaves accumulate at the top of its elongated stems. Its yellow-reddish flowers are grouped in clusters at the base of the plant, with its elliptical-shaped fruits located in the same spot. These fruits can vary from reddish to dark purple when ripe.

Huitillo. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Distribución geográfica
e historia natural

Geographic Distribution
and Natural History

Found along tropical America, from Belize to Brazil, including the Lesser Antilles. It is less frequent in forests and more common in clearings. Blooms for extended periods of time and fruits during rainy seasons. It grows in warm, humid climates along the slopes of mountain ranges.

One of the steps in the manual color extraction process. Leticia, Colombia, 2011.

Usos

Uses

It somewhat resembles certain types of heliconia. Its spicy fruit is edible and harvested in different countries such as Ecuador and Mexico. It also produces cooking oil, ink, and is used as a medicinal plant to treat nausea. The crude hexane extract from the leaves of this plant has been used to treat leishmaniasis.

Pigmento

Pigment

The huitillo yields a purple color after macerating ripe fruit’s skin. This plant offers a wide spectrum of possibilities because it produces a high-yielding pigment that easily binds to the different surfaces used. Exposure to heat is indispensable during the setting process. An intense indigo blue is the result of using only the skin. If lemon is added, the color turns purple-fuchsia, and if the pigment is mixed with white clay, the result is a pastel purple. When a fair amount of alum stone is applied, the result is a purple-royal blue shade.

Extracción + teñido

Extraction + dyeing