Acacia Catechu is commonly known as catechu or catch, an extract of acacia trees used variously as a food additive, astringent, tannin, and dye. It belongs to the family Fabaceae. The catch powder is prepared from steeping the wood of the Acacia catechu tree in hot water until a syrupy liquid emerges. This is dried and then ground into powder. Cutch is common to most parts of India, Burma, Indonesia and Peru. Acacia catechu is widely distributed throughout the greater part of India except the most humid, cold and the driest regions. Indian cutch is by far the most beautiful.
The different parts of the tree have a variety of medicinal uses, which in haemoptysis (spitting of blood). A paste of the bark is useful in conjunctivitis. The bark is reported to be useful in the treatment of snake bites. As an astringent it has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic medicine as well as in breath-freshening spice mixtures. For example, in France and Italy it is used in some licorice pastilles. It is also an important ingredient in South Asian cooking paan mixtures, such as ready-made paan masala.
The catechu powder is high in natural vegetable tannins (catechin and catechol, which accounts for its astringent effect), and used for the tanning of animal hides as well as the dye component catechin. It is easily soluble in water. The brown dye is used for dyeing and also for preserving fishing nets and sails. Cutch will dye wool, silk, and cotton in brown shades.
We employ the natural catechu dye in powder form to produce brown (light to dark shades), grey etc. by way of a standardised dyeing process using different combinations of natural mordants on fibers, fabric and garments with excellent fastness properties.