MORDANT MONDAY: Aluminum Acetate + Calcium Carbonate Before Dyeing?

We get mordant questions all the time at Botanical Colors so why not create Mordant Monday??? Got mordanting questions? Email [email protected] YOU ASKED: I’m confused. Your directions for mordanting with aluminum acetate say to mordant, place fibers in dye pot, then . . . do the calcium carbonate bath then dye – what is the correct order? “Remove, rinse lightly and proceed to dyeing. Calcium carbonate can shift dye colors due to its higher pH, so we like to rinse it prior to use.” KATHY ANSWERED: You mordant with aluminum acetate, and when it is done, remove from the aluminum … Read more

You Asked, Kathy Answered: The pH of Indigo

We get lots of emails from customers about challenges with dyeing and needing Botanical Colors’ President Kathy Hattori’s help. Why not share the learning so we can all benefit? From our inboxes to you, it’s simple: You Asked, Kathy Answered. Email questions@botanicalcolors with your plea for help! YOU ASKED: I set up an indigo vat a few weeks ago using fructose and lime. I dyed a few cotton items which worked well and now I want to dye some wool and silk. I’m having trouble lowering the pH. I’ve added more fructose but the pH is still 10.9. I tried … Read more

MORDANT MONDAY: Alum + Tannin & Line Fade

We get mordant questions all the time at Botanical Colors so why not create Mordant Monday??? Got mordanting questions? Email [email protected] YOU ASKED: I live in India and where I live there is a lot of rust in the water.  When I have tried to do a tannin-alum procedure before dyeing I noticed as soon as I put my fabric in the alum after the oak gall soak my fabric turns grey!!!  The alum I have is alum sulfate for cotton because I don’t have alum acetate.  I am trying symplocos now. Any suggestions how to avoid staining all material grey?? KATHY … Read more

Botanical Colors Natural Dye Glossary

There are so many terms and techniques in the natural dye space that we decided to create a natural dye glossary for you! Unless you work in a natural dye house full-time or have been doing dyeing since time immemorial, you’re not apt to know everything. We created this glossary of terms so that you can look like a plant dye master and a natural dyeing pro. Well, at least you’ll sound like it. Check out the terms below and shoot us an email if you think we left something out and need to add it! Natural Dye Glossary Alkaline: … 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: 1. When scouring fabrics, is it ok to use a washing machine (hot water setting) if the fabric is too large (approximately 1 yard) for the stockpot or does it always need to be simmered in the pot on the stove? Will you see a difference in terms of cleanness of the fabric? Cleaning the fabric prior … Read more

Research on Natural Dyes That Change Color in Reaction to PH levels of Rainwater

Just when we think we’ve heard it all, Rain Palette from Dahea Sun aims to provide an easy and poetic approach to visualizing air quality through rainwater and natural dyes. The works Dahea has developed are dyed with natural dyes that will change color in reaction to the pH levels of rainwater and aims to provide an at-a-glance indication of atmospheric air quality, with the potential for wearers to record and upload rain pH readings online to create a global database of real-time environmental data. SO cool. More here. Images: Rain Palette from Dahea Sun