Let’s talk about chlorophyllin green dye…although chlorophyll is the most common green plant color in the natural world, it is tricky to use as a dye to create green as chlorophyll in its raw state is not stable for textile coloring. That’s why grass stains fade to buff and deciduous leaves lose their chlorophyll and change to brilliant red and gold in the fall. The vivid green of the natural world is a photosynthesis engine but not necessarily a robust dye.
There is however, a preparation where chlorophyll green dyes fibers and that is by using chlorophyllin. Chlorophyllin is extracted chlorophyll from dark leafy green plants that has been treated to make it water soluble and stable with the addition of sodium and metal salts. We offer chlorophyllin derived from mulberry tree leaves.
The color yield from chlorophyllin is a soft, clear green with a hint of blue. Like many natural dyes, it appears to dye protein (animal) fibers well and create lighter shades on cellulose (plant) fibers. The dye is less lightfast than our traditional workhorse dyes but it adds a nice pop of green to your palette. For longest lasting color, consider using protein fibers and protecting your work from constant light exposure.
Chlorophyllin is strong – we dyed all the cotton swatches (45 grams) using less than a gram of chlorophyllin powder with just a tiny amount of exhaust left over. Suggested percentages for use are 1-5% wof. A 25 gram package of chlorophyllin will dye approximately 1250 grams (2.75 lbs) of fiber a light medium green so a little will go a long way.
For immersion dyeing, I weighed and dissolved the powder with a small amount of hot water, added it to the dye pot and added the mordanted fibers. I gradually raised the water temperature to about 60C or 140F and I dyed the fibers for 45 minutes. The fibers were removed, rinsed and air dried.
Check out my recent Feedback Friday talk about getting green from Indigo + yellow, yellow + iron and yellow + logwood!