Do You Know How To Mordant Cotton Like a Pro? Amy Doesn’t.

Ok, Amy here and I just got back from a week in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I always take Botanical Colors’ Wool Gauze with me when I travel to sample local plants and see what kind of color is all around me.
This time I brought the wool gauze and mordanted 10 organic cotton bandannas. The wool gauze was amazing and soaked in color like a champ but the bandannas? They laughed at me every time I tried to add color.
I actually called Kathy in the middle of the vacation to say “what the heck am I doing wrong???”
She said, “Amy, did you use any tannin as a pre-treat or calcium carbonate or wheat bran as a post bath with the aluminum acetate?”
“No. Just the aluminum acetate.”
“Well for better results, try aluminum acetate with a post-bath of calcium carbonate or wheat bran. Aluminum acetate needs one additional process in order to be more available to the dye. If you want to increase lightfastness, then a tannin pre-treatment will help.”
I’m not a perfectionist but I also don’t want to waste time staring into a pan from the local Savers at cotton that has no teeth to bite down on the color.
So yes, next time I will do the Kathy Hattori method. Maybe you already do…show off.

Avoid my mistakes and channel Kathy Hattori here.

See old “Dyeing for Dummies” featuring my amateur skills long ago here.