Any natural fiber underthings – socks, camisoles or panties. Look for 100% cotton, Modal, Tencel, silk or bamboo fiber content. Fiber blends like wool/cotton or silk/cotton or nylon also work well. Microfiber, polyester and acrylic will not take the dyes. The dye process includes mordanting, then immersing in a dyebath, rinsing and drying and you are done!
A dust mask is recommended when measuring Aluminum Acetate as it is a fine powder that smells like vinegar and may be irritating. Keep iron powder away from children and pets. Wear gloves when handling mordanted fabrics as the alum is drying to the skin.
For every garment you plan to dye, dissolve 1 teaspoon Aluminum Acetate in a cup of boiling water, working out the lumps. Using a plastic bucket, add the dissolved Aluminum Acetate and enough hot tap water to cover the garments. Mix well. Add the garments and rotate gently. Leave for an hour or as long as overnight, rotating occasionally and keeping the garments submerged in the mordant solution.
Then measure 2 teaspoons of wheat bran (from the bulk section of a grocery store), and mix with 2 cups very hot water. Let the mixture settle and steep for 30 minutes. Make a fresh bath using hot tap water and add the bran liquid to this bath, keeping the bran behind. Remove the garments from the mordant bath and submerge in the bran bath for 30 minutes, or as long as overnight.
For Lilac: Dissolve 1 teaspoon of lac extract in about 2 cups of boiling water in a heatproof container. Add 1/8th teaspoon of citric acid or cream of tartar and stir well. Let the solution sit for 1 hour so the sediment can drop to the bottom of the container. Do not stir the lac solution after this step as you want the sediment to remain in the jar and not in the dye bath. In a separate container, dissolve 1/4th teaspoon of Iron Powder in a cup of cold water, stirring to dissolve.
For Soft Whisper: Dissolve 1/4th teaspoon of lac extract using the same procedure as above. Do not add Iron Powder.
For Raspberry: Grind 1 teaspoon cochineal insects and combine with 2 cups water and 1/4th teaspoon Cream of Tartar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the colored liquid into a dye pot leaving the cochineal sediment in the saucepan. Add 2 more cups water and bring to a simmer, then drain the colored liquid into the dye pot. Repeat until the cochineal is exhausted. The colored liquid is your dye bath.
For Blossom Pink: Grind 1/2 teaspoon of cochineal, as above.
For Coralline: Dissolve 1/4th teaspoon Madder Extract in 2 cups of boiling water. Mix well and let sit for 1 hour to fully dissolve as it can produce tiny firespots if it isn’t sufficiently dissolved.
Fill a dye pot with enough cold water so the goods can rotate freely.
For Lac (Lilac)
Add the Lac solution to the dyepot, being careful to leave the dark residue behind. Stir in the Iron Powder and mix well. The dye mixture will be very dark colored.
For Lac (Soft Whisper)
Add the Lac solution to the dyepot, being careful to leave the dark residue behind.
For Cochineal and Madder
Add the dissolved dyes to the dyepot and mix thoroughly.
Add the Panties
Add the pair of mordanted soon-to-be-power panties and stir well, letting the dye thoroughly saturate the material. Turn on the heat and slowly bring the temperature up to 150°F. Hold at this temperature for 45 minutes, then allow the fabric to cool in the dye pot. You may leave the goods in the dye pot overnight for a darker shade. Remove, rinse until the water is clear and air dry. . Care: Handwash and lay flat to dry.