MORDANT MONDAY: How Do You Get That Really Red Cochineal?

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 sending a picture of cotton yarn dyed in cochineal and an exhaust bath of madder. I mordanted this with aluminum triformate but have gotten the same bad results using tannin, then alum with a bit of soda ash. I scoured this yarn very carefully and for at least an hour (boiling). Is there some special trick to dying cotton with cochineal? I get beautiful results with wool. KATHY ANSWERED: From what I can see in the … Read more

You Asked, Kathy Answered: Going Grassroots With Tannins

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 want to create gray on cellulose by using an oak gall tannin followed by an iron modifier; my question is should I rinse the tannin before modifying? KATHY ANSWERED: According to Catharine Ellis, the tannin treatment is not super strongly bonded to the fiber until the alum is added, so … Read more

You Asked, Kathy Answered: A Strange Result With Logwood

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! Thanks to Amy Tucker Studio for this week’s questions! YOU ASKED: I was instructing an eco printing workshop this weekend, and I was using logwood for the carrier blankets and I had a strange occurrence. I attached some photos to show what it looked like and what happened. I extracted the color from … Read more

MORDANT MONDAY: Let’s Talk Aluminum

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 used acorn extract as a tannin treatment on cotton, rinsed it like crazy, and put it in my aluminum triformate bath. Now the aluminum triformate bath has changed color. Should I toss it? I was hoping it would last awhile more and I could put it to use. KATHY ANSWERED: If you are using the bucket method for aluminum triformate mordanting, I would keep the bath. It’s probably still just fine and there’s a lot of … 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