Seeds from a South American plant, Bixa orellana, widely used as in commercial food colourings, an ornamental where hardy, and the seeds are used in various cuisines to colour food. It's actually the pulp that surrounds the seeds that supplies the colour.
Use on protein or cellulose fibres. Produces various shades of yellow to orange-yellow and can be modified with mordants. Pre-mordanting recommended. Use at 30-40% WOF for medium shades.
TO USE: soak seeds for several days or up to a week in a jar of water or vinegar and shake daily. Simmer in the soaking water/vinegar at 190-200°F for 1 hour. Cool overnight and strain. Add more water if necessary and enter wet, pre-mordanted fibre. Hold at a 180-190°F for one hour, then cool overnight in the dyebath.
Light and washfastness: fair with a mordant. Keep wash temperatures cool and expect some dye run.