Aluminum acetate mordant




NOTE: We have new packaging and sizes on this product!

Aluminum acetate is a purified mordant powder that creates bright colors on plant fibers. It is an alternative mordant to traditional tannin mordants. In addition, it is our preferred mordant for plant fibers.  Mordanting is an important step in natural dyeing as it helps improve light and washfastness.  Its purpose is to provide a bond between the fiber and the dye molecule.  Without a mordant bond, natural dye colors will fade, change color and wash out.  This is not so desirable after all the hard work of natural dyeing!

We offer instructions for 2 mordant variations:  one using aluminum acetate and calcium carbonate (chalk), or with an afterbath of wheat bran. Use percentages of aluminum acetate from 5-10% on the weight of the fiber.  Check out our How to Mordant page which provides detailed information on mordanting.

Please note that Aluminum acetate is very powdery, wafts easily and smells like acetic acid, so a dust mask, or respirator and good ventilation is recommended when using it to avoid irritation.  It is astringent and may dry hands, so wear gloves to protect skin.  Keep away from children and pets.

If you prefer to use only tannins for plant fiber mordanting, we offer a list of alternative tannins that may be used for mordanting. Please be aware that tannins will create a different shade  than aluminum acetate but these ingredients are also part of a long tradition of natural dyeing and worthy of experimentation.

You may also wish to experiment using tannin with an aluminum sulfate bath, which is another historical mordanting method.  Check out the information on tannin-alum mordant procedures here.

  • New packaging weights and prices.  Aluminum Acetate is now available in 4 ounce (113g) and 16 ounce (454 g) pouches.  It is the same product but a different sized bag.  We changed bag sizes and weights to be more efficient with our packager. Aluminum acetate mordant baths may be recharged to save water and mordant.  Read about recharging mordants here.
  • If you formerly purchased a 250 gram bag of Aluminum Acetate, 2 4 ounce bags equals 226 grams.  If you formerly purchased 500 grams of Aluminum Acetate, a 1 lb bag equals 454 grams.  If you formerly purchased 1000 grams of Aluminum Acetate, 2 16 ounce bags equals 908 grams.

Related items:

Aluminum Sulfate

Aluminum Potassium Sulfate

Soda Ash

Symplocos Plant Mordant

Tannin Extract: a “clear” tannin

Myrobalan Extract: a “yellow” tannin

Cutch Extract: a “brown”tannin

Calcium Carbonate

Cellulose Scour


Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A

4 oz (113 g), 16 oz (454g)