Q & A: Round Up of Mordanting + Scouring 101

Mordanting and scouring should be at the top of your things-to-do list before natural dyeing. Botanical Colors Founder Kathy Hattori recently took on as many questions as was humanly possible to clarify the processes. Scouring Questions If I use untreated and unbleached fabric, is it a must to scour the fabric or is washing it enough? If you mean by “untreated” that it has never been scoured, then you should scour. If untreated and unbleached means it is also prepared for dyeing (PFD or RFD), then you can wash the fabric first. I’ve seen some instructions for scouring cellulose fiber … Read more

A yellow-green powder sits in a red bowl

FEEDBACK FRIDAY: This Week in Natural Dye Questions

Each week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Here are a handful from this week answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors: What is the best natural fixative for cotton? All tannins (chestnut, tara, myrobalan, cutch, etc) may be used to pre-mordant or mordant cellulose fibers but the recommended mordant is tannin and alum, and depending on the type of alum you are using, sometimes a post bath is also recommended. Instructions are given in our How To Section. … Read more

FEEDBACK FRIDAY: This Week in Natural Dye Questions

Each week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Here are a handful from this week answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors: I often hear about “fugitive color.” Can you tell me why some colors like turmeric can latch onto fabric and why others like beets can’t? The terms “fast” and “fugitive” (not Fast and Furious) refer to how durable a natural color is to light, heat, and washing.  “Fast” means that the color is durable and its strength … Read more

FEEDBACK FRIDAY: This Week in Natural Dye Questions

Each week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Here are a handful from this week answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors: I have been printing with dye extracts on silk. My question is- once the fabric is mordanted, dunged, dyed, and steamed, can I over-dye the fabric without going through the mordant process again? You don’t need to remordant for additional overdyeing. If it’s been a long time between the initial dyeing and overdyeing, (like several years), then … Read more