MORDANT MONDAY: Mordanting Cotton & Freezing Clothes

Last week we received an unusual amount of emails and Instagram questions around how to mordant. Rather than keep them to ourselves, we thought we’d share Kathy’s responses! YOU ASKED: I bought aluminum sulfate with the intention of mordanting cotton but I see on your blog that you don’t recommend it for cellulose fibers. Will it still work, just not as well? KATHY ANSWERED: Aluminum sulfate was the first mordant for cellulose and you can use it for cellulose mordanting. The process is to pretreat with a tannin first, then soak in a solution of aluminum sulfate + washing soda … Read more

pale pink fabrics

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 … 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: Is there any way to remove iron from fabric to brighten it up? Iron is a reliably “permanent” mordant, which is why it is used to enhance light and “washfastness” with dyes that are weak in these categories. I have not seen a reversible method for removing iron. I keep getting mixed answers from people about dyeing … 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 just saw that Pantone created Love Symbol #2, an amazing shade for my favorite musician, Prince. Do you have an idea of how to create that color? Logwood chips used at about 50% wof with wool or silk mordanted with aluminum sulfate only (no cream of tartar) will make a rich reddish purple very … Read more