Scour, Mordant, and Color Changers

A Verb for Keeping Warm

Scour, Mordant, and Color Changers

Sale price$17.50

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Pickup available at 6328 San Pablo Ave Usually ready in 24 hours

Scour, Mordant, and Color Changers

aluminum acetate 100g

6328 San Pablo Ave

Pickup available, usually ready in 24 hours

6328 San Pablo Ave
Oakland CA 94608
United States

Choose the ingredient you'd like to purchase::aluminum acetate 100g

When working with natural dyes, first pre-wash the goods you would like to dye, also known as scouring, to remove any excess dirt, wax, or starch. Then, mordant the goods. The mordant, once applied to the goods, acts as a binder, which the dye attaches to.  The mordanting step in the natural dyeing process allows for the widest range of color and the best light-fastness.

Note: it is important to scour goods before indigo-dyeing, though you do not have to mordant them.

- cellulose-based fibers (cotton, linen, and other plant-based fibers), use soda ash. 
- protein-based fibers (wool, silk, and other animal-based fibers), use ecover or dawn - found at your local grocery.

- cellulose-based fibers, use aluminum acetate and either wheat bran or chalk.
- protein-based fibers, use aluminum potassium sulfate.

IRON (Ferrous sulfate) is used primarily on cellulose-based fibers to shift colors greyer and darker. For instance, yellow shifts to green, pink to purple, etc. The application of iron can increase colorfastness. And can also be used as a mordant.

TARTARIC ACID is similar to cream of tartar which can be used to shift the pH of a dye bath which can affect the color. For example, use tartaric acid with cochineal and get pink. Skip this step and get purple.

To learn how to use scour, mordant, and the other things listed on this page, pick up a copy of our book, The Modern Natural Dyer.

To purchase natural dyes, click here.

To purchase indigo, click here.