ANST - natural dyeing ...

jhartel jhartel at
Wed Jul 1 04:10:52 PDT 1998

I have been rereading some of the posts on the natural dyeing topic and
realized I threw out a few words that someone unfamilar with natural
dyeing might not understand.    The word that hit me the hardest was
"mordant".  So here goes...A "mordant" is a mineral salt that is used
either in the dyebath itself, or as a pre/post wash of the fibers that
were dyed.  Thes minerals effect the color of the dye and help to hold
the color to the fiber. (wool, cotton, silk, etc...)  I used several
mordants when I dye.  I use alum (kitchen type since I have not found
the other), Iron and copper which I purchased from a dyeing company.
Chrome and tin are other mordants. 
 The iron content in the water up here in Michigan is pretty high and I
can see where it has effected my dyeing.  While in Texas, I dyed using
dandelion heads  and got some very bright yellows.  I used the
dandelions from here with the same mordants as I used in Texas, only to
have the colors come out a bit more subdued.  It could be from the water
or perhaps the soil differences.  

Hpe this helps some...

[who is "really" starting to wonder about dyeing with that hydrangia
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