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Rubia 100% Natural Colours produces natural colour agents from a renewable, natural source. The company operates within the business to business market and in this way, it helps producers to realize durable and sustainable processes and products, both for companies and consumers. Rubia 100% Natural Colours, being market leader in the market for natural colouring, focuses on sustainable enhancement in the market of fashion, carpets, fabrics, leather, paper and cosmetics. Rubia 100% Natural Colours does have a positive CO2-footprint; that means that during the process of producing the dyes we take more CO2 then we produce. The product Life Cycle of Rubia is Cradle-to Cradle.


In a society with durable and sustainable production and consumption as a common responsibility, there is a need for sustainable products. Rubia 100% Natural Colours contributes to these products and processes by producing and offering natural colouring agents. Rubia 100% Natural Colours focuses on a future with a window of 25 years from now, where at least 50% of the colour agents that are used come from renewable sources.

Rubia 100% Natural Colours

The production and offices of Rubia 100% Natural Colours can be found in The Netherlands - Steenbergen in the Province of Noord-Brabant. The production takes place at the most advanced factory of natural colouring agents in the world. A laboratory and distribution centre are also located near the factory. The colouring plants are cultivated in the vicinity of the factory and they are constantly checked on quality by Rubia 100% Natural Colours. 


The management board of Rubia 100% Natural Colours consists of:

Rudolph de Jong, managing director
mobile +31 6 511 830 10
Harry Vlamings, organization and finance
mobile +31 6 531 739 49
Marc de Keijzer, production and growth
mobile +31 6 515 513 72


Rubia 100% Natural Colours is located at Steenbergen, nearby the fields on which the colouring plants are cultivated. The growers optimally use the fertile soil by varying this plant with other crops. Growing plant for dye agents fits perfectly in the crop rotation. Breeding happens in a closed cycle: Rubia 100% Natural Colours only works with its own varieties, protected by plant breeder’s rights. The growers cultivate the plant under licence. This means that after harvesting, the plant always ends up in the factory of Rubia Natural Colours. This way Rubia 100% Natural Colours can ensure a high and constant quality, year after year.


The madder root has been used for ages to colour fabrics. Already in the time of Tutankhamun (1350 BC), but also in Pompeii and in the old Corynthia fabrics dyed with madder were found. In the Middle Ages, the cultivation of madder was stimulated by Charlemagne. This is how the plant ended up in the Netherlands. Especially in the Province of Zeeland and the islands of the Province of Zuid-Holland it appeared to be thriving. Economically, madder became an important product here.

From 1600 to 1900, the Dutch madder met a very lively trade throughout Europe. From the second part of the 19th century onwards, during the industrial revolution, the synthetic chemistry as well experienced a fast growth. It was no longer necessary to use natural colouring agents because colouring agents could also be made synthetic-based. Those colouring agents appeared to be even cheaper. The cultivation of plants with the purpose to make colouring agents highly decreased from 1860 onwards. At the beginning of 1900, it was completely gone. 

However, the increasing environmental demands which should be met at the production of synthetic colouring agents and a shortage of the raw materials (petroleum and coal tar) for these colouring agents, forces us to extract our colouring agents again from natural and renewable materials. Not only the price of synthetic colouring agents will increase over the next decades, but the market will also demand for durable products.

In 1990, Professor Ton Capelle from Wageningen already foresaw this and he initiated a research into extraction of colouring agents from madder. In 2001, Dr Ir Dorien (G.C.H.) Derksen MSc took her doctoral degree in this subject with the thesis ‘Red, redder, madder. Analysis and isolation of anthraquinones from madder roots (Rubia tinctorum L.)’. In January 2005, Rubia started to build a production site for colouring agent from the madder plant.

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Prins Reinierstraat 12
4651 RZ Steenbergen
The Netherlands
+31 (0)183 768 001

© 2017 Rubia 100% Natural Colours