MORDANT MONDAY: Alum Sulfate & Acid-Loving Ornamentals?

We get mordant questions all the time at Botanical Colors so why not create Mordant Monday??? Got mordanting questions? Email [email protected]

What is Mordanting?

Mordanting is the most important process of preparing fibers to accept color. Using a mordant helps to ensure the most durable and long-lasting colors. With the exception of indigo (as a vat dye, it does not require a mordant), this is not an optional step. However, there are many different mordants you can use. Deciding which mordant to use comes down to the types of fibers you want to dye and how much time or energy you wish to spend. The table we have on this page break down the different mordants that we sell and the advantages and disadvantages of each one.

YOU ASKED: I live off grid and in a rural place and am I not connected to municipal water.  Can I dump aluminum sulfate baths directly outside?  I am new to natural dyeing and trying to figure out this part of the puzzle. Would mordanting with symplocos be a better option considering I have no septic system to dump it?? Any help would be greatly appreciated! 

KATHY ANSWERED: Some dyers will dispose of aluminum sulfate in their gardens for acid-loving ornamentals.  Symplocos would also be a a good choice. However, you can also re-use the aluminum sulfate mordant bath multiple times and keep it labeled and covered in between uses.