Scour, Mordant, and Color Changers
6328 San Pablo Ave
6328 San Pablo Ave
Oakland CA 94608
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.
This item is a final sale. Once purchased, there are no cancellations, exchanges, store credits, or returns.
If you would like to add-to-order, please click here to review the instructions. We cannot refund shipping charges.
If you would like to apply a discount code, please click here to review the instructions. We cannot refund discounts.
Packages ship Tuesday through Saturday via USPS. Once shipped, you will receive a confirmation email and tracking number. Please use the tracking number provided and contact the shipping carrier directly with any questions about transit and delivery.
Please select the insured option at checkout to ensure compensation for a lost package. Once the package has been picked up by the shipping carrier, we are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged packages. We do not offer refunds or credits for lost or stolen packages.
If you select an insured option and need to file a claim with USPS, we will provide you with the documentation needed to complete your claim. Packages are insured for the order total. If your package is stolen, please contact your credit card company to receive any possible compensation.
Please note: If you choose the 6-7 business day option, we will ship your package within 6-7 business days of receiving your order. If you would like us to ship your package sooner, please choose the 3 or 4-5 business day option.
US orders $110.00 pre-tax and above:
Free - 6-7 business days, uninsured
$5 - 4-5 business days, insured
$12 - 3 business days, insured
US orders under $110.00 pre-tax:
$9.00 - 6-7 business days, uninsured
$11 - 4-5 business days, insured
$20 - 3 business days, insured
*For packages weighing 2 pounds plus, there will be additional shipping charges. Please contact us for a quote.
All international orders are shipped uninsured USPS First Class Parcel Post. We are not responsible for packages which are held in customs or lost. International orders may incur customs fees. We are not responsible for fees you may incur. International shipments can take two months to reach their destination. We caution against placing an order if you live outside the United States. At this time, we are unable to ship to the United Kingdom due to the complicated VAT situation.
To pick up your order at our shop, when checking out, under shipping method, choose Pick up at our Oakland store - 6328 San Pablo Ave.
You will receive an email when your order is ready. Orders placed Tuesday-Saturday are typically ready within 2-3 hours. To pick up your order, come to the shop between 11am - 3pm, Tuesday-Saturday. Knock on the front door and give us your name.
Pre-orders will ship on the date listed on the product’s webpage. If you ordered additional items, all items will be shipped with your pre-order. If you would like those items shipped separately, please place two separate orders.