ACETIC ACID Used in small quantities to help wool and silk absorb the mordant. Can also be used in afterbaths to alter dye colors.
BRAZILWOOD – a sawdust shredded from the heartwood of the caesalpinia brasiliensis tree native to Brazil. Brazilwood will produce
lovely yellow based reds when dyed at a 20% wof, and can achieve startling variations from bright orange to blue reds when the ph level of
the dye bath is manipulated.
COCHINEAL – whole dried insects of the species Dactylopius Coccus. This dye yields fuchsias to purples on most natural fibers. Although
it is expensive it has a high dye content and goes a long way. You will need 3-5% bugs to wof for medium depth of shade.
CREAM OF TARTAR Potassium bitartrate, this is the assistant most often used with alum, iron, or tin mordants on silk and wool. Cream of Tartar helps to soften fibers when harsh mordants are used. It can also help brighten yellows and reds.
CUTCH – an extract prepared from wood of the tree Acacia Catechu. It is a good source of colorfast browns such as cinnamon, nutmeg,
and clove. Cutch contains tannin as well as dye compound and is easily soluble in water.
EMULSIFIED WAX is a water based resist. It is actually a cold wax in a liquid emulsion.
FERROUS SULFATE — IRON This is the standard iron mordant. Iron is often used in combination with alum.
FUSTIC – an extract prepared from the heartwood of a tree from the Mulberry family. Fustic
produces a range of colors from yellow to gold to orange and makes a good underdye with indigo
to make greens. The extract is highly concentrated and ready to use directly into the dye bath.
GUM TRAGACANTH – A natural thickening agent (polysaccharide) obtained from the sap of Iranian locoweed (Astragalus). Good for thickening natural dyes for handpainting.
GUTTA is a French resist which comes in a sovent and water based form. It is strong resist and leaves a soft hand to the fabric. Clear Gutta is removed by drycleaning, while the coloured versions remain in the fabric.
HENNA – derived from the leaves of a tree native to Egypt, the Middle East and India.
It yields yellows to browns.
INDIGO – extract prepared from cultivated plants of Indigofera Tinctoria. Indigo can give the clearest blues of all values from
pale sky blue to the deepest darkest navy.
LAC – an extract from the Coccus Lacca insect. This dye yields burgundy reds to deep purple.
4% dye to wof is all that is needed for a medium depth of shade.
LOGWOOD – an extract from wood of the Hematoxylon Campechianum tree.
This dye yields red purples to orchid blues with 3-5% dye to wof.
MADDER ROOT – ground roots of mature plants of the Rubia Tinctorum. This dye produces
salmon pinks to deep lacquer reds which are extremely permanent. 35-60% root is required for
medium depth of shade.
MARIGOLD – dried and ground flower heads. This dye yields rich vibrant yellows and oranges with 15-20% marigold to wof.
MICROCRYSTALLINE WAX This is a synthetic blend of beeswax and paraffin.
MONAGUM Modified starch gum. Only thickener for discharge printing with hypochlorite bleach that stays thick.
MYROBALAN Myrobalan is a very popular tannin based mordant used throughout South East Asia.
PARAFFIN A synthetic wax used as a resist.
POMEGRANATE – an extract from the rinds of pomegranates, this dye yields yellows to greens yellows and requires 15-20% wof for a medium depth of shade.
POTASSIUM ALUM This is traditionally the most important of all the ancient mordants and was used as early as 2000 BC. It is the least toxic of the mordants and is safe to use. It is easy to handle in granular form.
ORVUS PASTE This is an excellent soap for afterwashing naturally dyed fibers and fabrics.
OSAGE ORANGE – shredded heartwood of the tree Maclura Pomifera. Osage contains a yellow dye similar to Fustic and yields clear true yellows to soft yellow greens.
SHIBORI Both Shibori and tie dye are a type of resist, which use various methods of shaping, securing, stitching, folding, clamping and tying cloth before dyeing to create designs. The designs created by these processes have characteristically soft edges around the resisted areas.
SODIUM METABISULPHITE Sodium metabisulphite is used to neutralize cotton that has been bleached. After bleaching, soaking in a solution of metabisulphite prevents the deterioration
of cotton fibers by bringing the pH back to neutral.
TANNIN Tannic acid is the most common mordant for cellulose fibers such as cotton. It is often combined with alum and/or iron, however, the tannin mordant should be done first as metal mordants combine well with the fiber-tannin complex. This Tannic acid is a very pure form of tannin.
THIOUREA DIOXIDE Thiourea dioxide is a reducing agent and an excellent substitution for sodium hydrosulfite in color stripping and discharge. It is safer to use, has a greater strength, and does not lose its strength over time. It can be used for stripping cellulose fiber or bleaching wool or silk. It must be used in a well ventilated area or outside.
WOF Weight of Fiber. This is the weight of dry fiber used to calculate how much dye to use in a specific dye recipe.