FEEDBACK FRIDAY: Channeling Champagne on Silk

This week on FEEDBACK FRIDAY: How to channel the color of champagne on silk with a natural dye like cutch

Every week for FEEDBACK FRIDAY, 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.

How is that beautiful champagne color produced with cutch? The one depicted on the cutch extract product page (on silk). It says with soda ash but things I’ve read say adding soda ash reddens the dye. I just love that champagne color.

If you mordant with aluminum sulfate on silk or wool, you get that golden shade from cutch (see above). It’s only with protein fibers and only with aluminum sulfate as a mordant. It may be possible to obtain it on cellulose if you use a small amount of a mild acid like cream of tartar in the dye bath, but I have not tried this.

Can dried madder root be to old to produce reds?

It’s possible that old madder root can lose its potency over time as a natural product. Most madder root has a shelf life of about 3 years when kept dry and airtight, and ground madder may become weaker over time sooner than whole madder because it’s in powdered form.

Want to know more about mordanting, scouring, how to make ink from exhausted dye baths, best natural dye books to read or historical looks back at how to use natural dyes in 2020? WE have so much information on just about anything you’ve ever wanted to ask in our weekly FEEDBACK FRIDAYs. Search here.