dried weld flowers and stalks in a white bowl

You Asked, Kathy Answered: Bright Yellow From Weld

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 [email protected] with your plea for help! YOU ASKED: I am dyeing with dried weld and would like to obtain the most bright yellow, so was wondering if I can use soda ash at 1% weight of fiber (wof) instead of calcium carbonate? Or will this give a big difference as both are elevating the pH level of the water?  … Read more

You Asked, Kathy Answered: Indigo To Get Green + A Ruined Vat

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 [email protected] with your plea for help! YOU ASKED: I am curious how to achieve a light shade of blue green with natural  dyes and am assuming it would be dyed first with weld and then over-dyed with a few dips of indigo? Is there a natural dye that will do the same in one step? KATHY ANSWERED: We like to … Read more

MORDANT MONDAY: Mordanting To Make Green

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 just ordered both logwood and weld and want to get purple and green on wool yarn based on this information on your site. Do I need to do some pre-mordanting with alum? The website has the intriguing recommendation to use a bit of soda ash with neutral water, to get a better purple. Does this mean an acid pre-mordant would not be advised? It’s hand spun wool for warp so would be better slightly acidic rather than … Read more

MORDANT MONDAY: Will Mordant Affect Indigo 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 use aluminum triformate as my mordant for cellulose and silk. I am planning to dye linen with weld and was told that I didn’t need to use a tannin before dyeing if using potassium triformate.If I do need to use a tannin and have already mordanted the linen, do I go back and use tannin and remordant? KATHY ANSWERED: I have concentrated on using a tannin pretreat with aluminum sulfate and haven’t done so as frequently … Read more

yellow-green fabric in a stainless steel dyepot

Making Green with Logwood and Weld

It’s not often that you can combine yellow and purple to make green, but weld extract and logwood will yield interesting results, depending on the strength of the weld and logwood combination. We have tested this on wool and our recipes are as follows. Feel free to experiment with other fibers and proportions of dyes! Chartreuse Use 3% weld on the weight of fabric (WOF) and dissolve in hot water. Do not add any auxiliaries such as calcium or soda ash. Measure and add 0.25% WOF logwood extract to the weld and stir well. Add this mixture to a dye … Read more

How To Make Your Own Signature Black Natural Dye

Want to know how to make your very own signature black natural dye? Here’s a really good black recipe from Kathy to send you into tannin and iron experiments all day…or maybe, for the rest of your life. Black with gallo tannin, iron and logwood is a historical recipe from Europe and creates a warm black. Prior to the introduction of logwood to Europe, black was achieved through multiple baths of tannin and iron, or by overdyeing with madder, weld and woad. The basic rule of thumb with this recipe is that you can dye and continue overdyeing to achieve … 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