Mordants for Natural Dyes

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Mordants for setting the colours from natural dyes.

Mordants link chemically with fibre to create attachment points which bond with the colour extracted from natural dyes. They are used to help make colours light and wash fast, and different mordants will modify colours by brightening, tinting or saddening. Use mordants also to set the colours from flowers and leaves during the process of Botanical Eco Printing.

Materials can be pre-soaked in a mordant and left damp prior to dyeing. The mordants can also be added to the dye bath while the dye is being simmered. Mordanting materials before and after dyeing with natural dyes will add extra fastness, Copper, Tin and Iron can be used as an after treatment to adjust colours.

Alum mordant is the most commonly used mordant in natural dyeing because it does not modify colours. It does not react with cellulose fibres (i.e. cotton and linen) in the same way as it does with protein fibres such as wool and silk. Tannin is used to pre-mordant the cellulose before using the Alum mordant to make this chemical reaction complete. Most tannins will leave a residue of colour and tint the colour from the natural dye, and this may be a desired effect. To avoid this and to retain the fibre’s natural colour, Aluminium Lactate can be used as an alternative mordant for cellulose. Sources of Tannin can be found with our Natural Dyes and Natural Dye Extracts. Additional modifiers for natural dyeing, can be seen in Dye Assistants, Modifiers & Mediums

Dye Kits & Packs

Fibrecrafts Mordant Pack

£13.50
Special Offer

Auxiliaries for Botanical Printing

Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) – 200g

£3.00

Mordants for Botanical Printing

Titanium Oxalate Mordant – 100g

£9.50

Mordants for Botanical Printing

Titanium Oxalate Mordant – 500g

£35.00
Special Offer

Auxiliaries for Botanical Printing

Soda Ash (Sodium Carbonate) – 500g

£6.00

Dye Assistants, Modifiers & Mediums

Alum (Aluminium Potassium Sulphate) – 200g

£4.55
Special Offer

Dye Assistants, Modifiers & Mediums

Alum (Aluminium Potassium Sulphate) – 500g

£8.60
Special Offer

Mordants for Botanical Printing

Aluminium Lactate Mordant for Cellulose, 2 sizes

£2.86£10.00
Call for Price
Special Offer
Special Offer

Auxiliaries for Botanical Printing

Cream of Tartar – 100g

£5.95
Special Offer
Special Offer

Discharge Dyeing

Thiourea Dioxide – 100g

£4.80
Special Offer

Discharge Dyeing

Thiourea Dioxide – 500g

£21.00
Special Offer
Special Offer

Mordants for Botanical Printing

Tin (Stannous Chloride) – 100g

£10.30

Sensible precautions must be taken when handling dyes and chemicals, particularly as powders:

    • Avoid inhaling dusts, they can produce an asthma type reaction. People with known respiratory problems should not handle synthetic dyes, and particularly the fibre reactive dyes, in powder form. A dust mask should be worn when working with the powders or exposed to an aerosol from spraying dye solutions made up in water.
    • Avoid splashing solutions into the eyes, swallowing the materials or prolonged skin contact. A simple 'non-contact' approach (most people use gloves to avoid dyeing themselves) plus normal, good, hygiene is sufficient precautions for the occasional user.
    • Store in clearly labelled containers well away from children, pets and foodstuffs. Treat dye powders and solutions with the same caution as domestic poisons (e.g. strong cleaners, bleaches or medicines).
    • Dispose of spent solutions containing residues of the dyes responsibly. Dilute and pour onto waste land or into the sewage system. They have no known effect on the environment when used in the quantities recommended in the literature.