Tagua Nut Slices

tagua nut03Tagua nut can be dyed with fabric dye.

The slices to the right have been dyed with a similar process and are available as six large thin tagua nut slices in assorted colors for only $2.99 at the time of this publication.

If you’d like to do this on your own –

You will need:
Tagua Nuts (sanded if whole, slabs or beads).
Fabric Dye
Soda Ash

1. Put your tagua nuts into a plastic or metal container with a lid. In a separate container, mix 4 tsp. of a fiber reactive dye with 1 cup of warm water. Mix thoroughly.

2. Pour the dye and water mixture over the nuts (not the other way around – this prevents splashing). Be sure the tagua nut is completely covered. If it’s not, make some more and fill the container until you can see the tagua nut is completely immersed. Replace the lid and allow the dye to penetrate for one hour.

3. After an hour, remove the lid and add 1 1/2 tsp. of soda ash and mix well. Let the soda ash penetrate the nuts for at least another hour. The soda ash acts as a fixative which will prevent the dye from running.

4. Rinse the tagua in cold water. Add 1 tablespoon of detergent and mix well with the tagua, then rinse them again in cold water.

Tagua nut for carving

three carved tagua nuts front, two whole tagua nuts behind¬†Carving taguanuts is almost as hard as carving soapstone. Difficult to hold and hard, sharp tools are essential and rotary power tools work the best. Holding the tagua nut is accomplished by either sanding a flat area and gluing it onto a board, pressing it into modeling clay, putting a screw into it to secure it to a board or using a vise. You can find tagua nuts “in the raw” in a number of places. Amazon has tagua nuts available Bags of 10.