Our new cutch-dye collection is now live! This beautiful selection of terracotta bamboo and lace fabrics is naturally hand-dyed from the wood of ancient cutch trees. We contracted a local maker in Kansas City near us, Alyx Jacobs, to dye the entire collection by hand.
We love the natural color shades in the collection and know you will too! Learn all about this natural dye, its rich and beautiful history, and why it’s one of our favorite collections to date.
What is cutch?
In general terms, cutch is a type of wood. Cutch comes from a small, thorny tree that is native to Asia. These trees have yellow flowers, leaflets and small thorns.
The wood itself is a rich, soft brown color that many people associate with the traditional color of terracotta.
Cutch comes from a small thorny tree of the Leguminosae family and it is native to Asia. The leaves consist of multiple pairs of leaflets and the flowers are yellow and mimosa-like. The trees are cut after 30 years of growth.
In many ancient traditions, cutch has been used for a variety of purposes, including for medicinal purposes. For medicine, parts of the tree such as the twigs, bark, and wood are used to treat digestion issues or as an astringent for pain, bleeding, and inflammation.
Because of its rich history, cutch goes by many names depending on where you’re located and what you’re using it for.
Other names include:
Terra Japonica, or Japan earth
Khoyer (Assamese and Bengali)
Cutch dye has been used in India since ancient times. The dye is made from soaking the wood in hot water until it reaches a sort of syrupy consistency. That syrup is then cooled and pressed. After it is dried, the material is ground up until it turns into a powder that can be used for the dyeing process.
Cutch wood dyes a variety of colors in the burnt orange/terracotta/salmon family. It’s what makes the color khaki, or khak—an Indian word for dust, earth, and ashes. In history, this color has been used to dye military uniforms because of how well it blends in with the earth around it.
Cutch is so important to Indian tradition that the largest district in India, the Kutch District, is named after it.
Why we love it
Because of its rich history, cutch dye is special for many reasons. One of the reasons why we love cutch dye so much is that it mimics the beauty of our natural world. The rich browns, beautiful burnt oranges, and soft salmons are very flattering on most people and go well with pretty much any type of style.
We also love how perfectly imperfect it is, just like nature! Due to the natural dye process using wood from ancient cutch trees, beauty lies in the imperfections.
Since these products are locally dyed individually by hand, most pieces have imperfections from the dye such as: splotches, tie-dye-like appearance, color inconsistencies, stiffness, etc.
You’ve heard us talk about “bamboo viscose” many times in blogs, product descriptions and more, but we keep getting the question of “What Is Bamboo Viscose?” Our team explains what it is and how it's made in this blog!
March 24, 2021
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When and where will the donated underwear from my purchase be distributed to women?
At the end of each month, we total the number of products sold and then donate the matching amount in pairs of underwear to the requesting organizations next up on our list. We receive requests for new underwear donations from 501(c)3 non-profits all over the world on a weekly basis. We do our best to fulfill these requests as fast as possible.
Can I put my MADI Apparel ethical basics in the dryer?
Yes! We choose our sustainable fabrics and design the styles specifically to be luxury basics with low maintenance. We recommend low dryer heat or hang drying when possible for the longest wear. We also recommend hang drying any of our products with elastics.
I would love some advice on what style will flatter my body type.
Email us at customerservice(at)madiapparel.com with your measurements, and a member of Team MADI will reach out with ideas/suggestions to help guide you!
I want to be part of Team MADI!
We are growing rapidly and always looking to grow our team. Please send a resume and cover letter to customerservice(at)madiapparel.com for more details about open internships and jobs.
Underwear is the most under-donated clothing item and tops the most urgent needs list at most domestic violence shelters and sexual assault clinics. It was obvious that we could help in such a simple way. Not only would underwear donations make a someone feel comfortable and clean, but would restore confidence in their everyday lives. For every item sold, we donate a pair of underwear to women and organizations in need.