FEEDBACK FRIDAY: This Week in Natural Dye Questions

Photo by Paige Green photography

This week: It’s all about the dye inks we just released!

Every week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Of course, all of your burning questions are answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors.

If I purchased your dye inks could they be used with an additive to thicken them for printing?

The dye inks may be thickened with a commercial thickener, or a vegetable-based one, like our printing ink.  They may have a lighter depth of shade than using a powdered dye.

Are these inks for block printing on fabric or are they just for paper?

They are a true ink designed for watercolor type applications on paper, so in order to print on fabric, you will need to both thicken and bind the ink to the fabric substrate.

Does this ink also work well on fabric stamps? how is it fixed to the fabric? Is it necessary to mordant the fabric before printing?

In order to use with fabric stamps, you will need to both thicken and bind the ink to the fabric substrate. A mordant may help, but the real trick is to use a commercial binder.  You will also need to set the fabric according to the binder’s directions.

Could one thicken with guar gum to screen print. How concentrated are they?

See above.

Is there an expiration date for these inks?

They are stable but they are a natural product. We recommend using them within a year of purchase, and shake before dispensing.

Could I dye a shirt with these dyes?

Not really as these are inks, which are a pigment suspended in liquid.

Shop dye inks:

Black Walnut
Buckthorn Berry
Pisolithus Mushroom