RECIPE: A Coral Natural Dye Recipe To Sing You Into Spring

This is a Botanical Colors coral natural dye recipe for a classic, madder color in a soft salmon hue guaranteed to sing you into spring.

Dyer’s notes:
You can use the same coral natural dye recipe for animal or plant fibers. We recommend mordanting to achieve the best results. Your mordant options are aluminum potassium sulfate (for animal fibers), or aluminum acetate or symplocos (for plant fibers). Symplocos is an alum bioaccumulator from dried leaves and we’ve used it successfully on both animal and plant fibers. In its native Indonesia, it’s used mostly on plant fibers.

Step 1 – Weigh dry fibers and note the weight. This is what you will use to calculate all of your mordant and dye amounts.

Step 2 – Mordant the fibers according to fiber type and keep damp if you are dyeing right away. You may dry and re-wet the fibers for future use.

Step 3 – Choose a Coral recipe and get creative!

Coral recipe using ground madder root:
Measure ground madder root at 25% wof. Soak the root in cold water at least 2 hours or overnight in a dye pot large enough for the fibers to move easily.. If you want to minimize madder root particles on your fibers, you can contain the dyestuff in a mesh bag or cheesecloth. You can add more water to the dye pot if needed. Place the damp mordanted fibers into the dye pot and stir carefully. Slowly raise the heat to 140F, rotating the goods in the dye pot to avoid hot spots. Hold at 140F for 45 minutes, rotating occasionally. Carefully remove the fibers from the dye pot (goods are hot!). Let animal fibers cool first to avoid shocking the fibers, then rinse plant or animal fibers with cool water until the water runs clear. Dry away from the sun.

Coral recipe using liquid madder extract:
Shake bottle of liquid madder well and measure liquid madder at 5% wof. Dilute the measured dye with a little warm water. Fill a dye pot with enough water so the fibers move easily. Add the liquid dye to the dye pot and stir well. Place the damp mordanted fibers into the dye pot and stir carefully. Slowly raise the heat to 140F, rotating the goods in the dye pot to avoid hot spots. Place the damp mordanted fibers into the dye pot and stir carefully. Slowly raise the heat to 140F, rotating the goods in the dye pot to avoid hot spots. Hold at 140F for 45 minutes, rotating occasionally. Carefully remove the fibers from the dye pot (goods are hot!). Let animal fibers cool first to avoid shocking the fibers, then rinse plant or animal fibers with cool water until the water runs clear. Dry away from the sun.

Coral recipe using madder extract powder:
Measure madder extract powder at .25% wof and dissolve with a little boiling water. Fill a dye pot with enough water so the fibers move easily. Add the dissolved dye to the dye pot and stir well. Place the damp mordanted fibers into the dye pot and stir carefully. Slowly raise the heat to 140F, rotating the goods in the dye pot to avoid hot spots. Place the damp mordanted fibers into the dye pot and stir carefully. Slowly raise the heat to 140F, rotating the goods in the dye pot to avoid hot spots. Hold at 140F for 45 minutes, rotating occasionally. Carefully remove the fibers from the dye pot (goods are hot!). Let animal fibers cool first to avoid shocking the fibers, then rinse plant or animal fibers with cool water until the water runs clear. Dry away from the sun.

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