ALUM MORDANT ~ necessary for most plant dyes to ensure colour fastness.
Alum is considered the least harmful or safest when it come to mordants used in plant dyeing. What many don't know is that Alum occurs naturally in nature and some plants, like horsetail, contain Alum.
*Alum has long been used as an additive to both foods and drinking water.
Weigh your DRY textile material.
ALUM: Divide the weight of the material to dye by four. Weight out that much alum mordant. A scant two tablespoons equals one ounce of alum.
Add Alum to the pot, and almost fill with warm water. Leave enough room to add the wet textile material. Stir until fully dissolved.
*You can leave the wool in for 24- 72 hours - cold mordanting.
** Or you can heat to 80 degrees Celcius for one hour.
Rinse and dry.
ORGANIC NEEM LEAVES & OIL ~ NATURAL MOTH PROTECTION
Neem Leaves and Spray
These Neem leaves are grown on a small organic farm in India. The farm is kbA registered (registered organic).
Available in leaf form or as spray*
Neem is very popular and is used for so many things, medicinal, anti-fungal and as insecticide. We treat all our articles with the neem oil spray in order to protect the yarns and wool from moths.
Neem oil Spray
Neem oil, cold pressed from the fruits and seeds of the Indian Neem tree. Like the Neem leaves, the oil is ideal for protecting fabric, yarn and fibers from insects and moths. I use it all the time and I have yet to see a moth!
200ml spray bottle of Neem oil contains: cold pressed Neem Oil mit 1% Azadirachitin (active ingredient in Neem oil) natural essential oils, Isopropyl - alcohol
What customers say: "Brilliant keeps midges out too and the smell just goes away I found it quite citrus but it may smell different to each person Hubby smelled faint lemongrass"
Basic Recipe (Leaves):
Sew little pouches (or use drawstring bags), just like Lavender pouches, stuff them loosely with Neem leaves, and put them into your yarn/wool storage. They smell pleasantly, but that is my opinion and so far doesn't seem to leave an odor on the yarn/wool.
100gr is enough for 5 small pouches.
Basic Recipe (Spray):
Simply spray onto your items, there is no trace of the oil or long term smell on your products. Even though the oil smells strong when applied. Pleasantly though, but that is my own opinion.
PIPETTE ~ to move small amounts of dye water
A pipette is handy to have , if you like to apply dye to your yarn, fibre or fabric in a more controlled manner.
*This listing stands for 1 pipette. I you like more than one, just up the quantity in the drop down menu.
TARA POWDER ~ is a natural tanning product
Grown in the mountains of Peru.
Tara powder will stain the fibres grey and it is recommended to use a strong dye so the colour isn't too influenced. I am using it for all our plant dyed flax fibres and LinCot yarns and found, that it actually adds some more depth to the colour.
Using 20% Alum to weight of fibre, Using 10% Tara Powder to weight of fibre, Use clean, scoured wool fleece, Cotton or Linen.
Weigh the yarn or clean, dry fibre.
Fill a large pot with clean water and heat, mix the Alum into the hot water and place the Tara Powder into a nylon stocking or small bag - add to pot.
Rinse the wool so that it is damp. Add the wool or skeins of yarn into the hot Alum/Tara mixture. Make sure that the wool is all covered by the water, if not, add more water to the pot.
Simmer the mordant mixture for about an hour at 90 degrees Celsius. Remove the yarns from the mordant mixture. The Alum/Tara mixture can be reused by adding 1/2 the amount of Alum and Tara powder as previously stated.
*This recipe can also be used without heating, by leaving the fibre/yarn to soak in the water for 24h.
SODA ASH ~ To change colour (PH indicator) and scouring cellulose fibres
No natural Dye Studio can do without Soda Ash. It may be used in small amounts to alter PH or used for scouring cellulose fibres. Soda Ash is alkaline and used to increase the PH in a dye bath as well as in an Indigo Vat.
In generalSoda Ashcan be dissolved in the hot dye bath. It helps to increasethe PH of the bath.
CREAM OF TARTAR
CREAM OF TARTAR ~ To change colour (PH indicator) and soften fibre
Cream of Tartar, also known as potassium bitartrate, is produced by fermenting grape juice. It is used to acidify the dye bath to effect a colour change, and in mordanting to soften wool fibers.
In general Cream of tartar can be dissolved in the dye bath. It helps to lower the PH of the bath. PH of Cream of tartar is 5.
HYDROS OXYGEN REMOVER
HYDROS ~ is the colour or oxygen remover used for indigo or woad vats.
Dithionite can replace Spectralite ( basically the same, but you would need less and it is more expensive).
A 10L Indigo Vat requests up to 50g of Hydros.
* Sprinkle over the Dye Vat to remove Oxygen - the Vat should turn a yellow green.
**Please be aware, that this is a chemical and to avoid a chemical reaction allways add Hydros to water and not Water to Hydros.
***Other words for Hydros: Sodium Dithionite, Thiourea dioxide, Thiox, Hydrosulfite Sodium.
IRON MORDANT ~ Mordant, Colour Changer, increased light fastness
Iron (Ferrous Sulfate) is used alone as a mordant, influencing Colours and to increase light fastness when used in combination with other natural dyes.
Iron is best known for shifting yellows into greens, keep in mind that this is not given and doesn't work with every yellow plant dye, in which case it will be more of a brown. it is used to increase light fastness for weaker plant dyes, bu it will always sadden and/or darken the colours.
When adding Iron to your dye bath start of with 3% and use it at the end of your dye bath or as an after bath. Allow to oxidize for 10 min for full colour development.
*If you like your colours darker, increase the Iron amount by 1-2% at a time.
**Leave for 10min than remove from dye bath - Iron will make wool brittle.
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