New Cold Water Mordant: Aluminum Triformate




We are pleased to offer a new mordant made from mineral salts called aluminum triformate. Aluminum triformate is a room temperature dye for all natural fibers including wool, silk, cotton, hemp and linen. It also works on a gpL (grams per Liter) calculation or a weight of fiber (WOF) percentage and we’ve used it successfully with both methods.

Each of these methods have their advantages for the artisan dyer. If you want to dip a scarf or two in mordant and then move on to dyeing without a lot of calculating, then the gpL method is good for you as there is no additional weighing, heating or handling hot mordanted items. If you are a wool dyer, the room temperature solution avoids felting or harshness through overheating. On the other hand, if you need to keep careful records and dye the same thing, then the WOF method will make it easy to reproduce your process.

Aluminum triformate Advantages
  • Room temperature mordanting – no additional energy necessary other than warm water when starting your mordant bucket.
  • Saves water as you re-use the mordant bath until the mordant is consumed and you can add more mordant liquid as necessary (bucket method).
  • Aluminum triformate is easy to use with minimal odor or wafting powder and dissolves easily.
  • Works well on all fibers and keeps wool fibers from being overhandled as compared to other mordant methods.
  • 200 grams (7 ounces) is reported to dye up to 5kg (11 lbs) of fibers. Results may vary due to fiber type, weight and other factors.
Directions for use

For the gpL or room temperature “bucket” method: Use a 3-4 gallon (approx. 11-15 liter) non-reactive plastic bucket or stainless steel container with a lid and assume that your solution will be 10 liters and the strength of the solution will be 20 gpL. Add 10 liters of warm tap water to your container. Mark the liquid level with a piece of tape on the outside of the bucket so you can track as it goes down with use. Measure 200 grams of aluminum trifomate and add to the 10 liters of water, stirring well to dissolve completely. We recommend you use a dust mask and gloves.

Once the aluminum triformate is dissolved, you may add your fibers to be mordanted, gently pressing out any air bubbles. Allow the fibers to soak in the mordant solution for at least 4 hours, rotating the goods occasionally. Then remove the goods, squeezing as much of the liquid as possible and proceed to dyeing. You do not need to rinse the mordant and you want to preserve as much of the mordant solution as you can. Cover and label the mordant bucket and keep in a safe place away from children and pets.

For the weight of fiber (wof) method: Fill a bucket or mordant pot with enough water so your goods move freely. Calculate and measure 10-20% WOF aluminum triformate, add to the pot and stir well. Again, a dust mask and gloves are recommended. Hold at room temperature for 4 hours, rotating goods occasionally, then remove and proceed to dyeing. The dye bath may be reused. The number of reuses depends on the fiber type and weight and we encourage you to keep careful notes as you experiment with this new mordant.


The spent mordant may be disposed of in a municipal wastewater system.

For more detailed instructions for use, visit the how to page here.

Additional information

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250g, 500g


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