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Topic: Mordanting techniques with alum  (Read 1512 times)
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It's a fine line between 'hobby' & 'mental illness

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« on: November 30, 2011 12:02:50 PM »

I'm doing some dyeing on silk with natural dyes.  It's not my first time, but I'm certainly no expert!  I have a question about mordant technique.

I'm pre-mordanting with alum.  I learned to soak in the mordant bath, and then take it out, squeeze out the excess liquid and keep it wet until ready to dye.

As I haven't dyed anything in a while, I referred to "The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing" by JN Liles.  He says to mordant, then rinse the fibre and let dry before dyeing.

Do you know what the difference is?  What technique do you use?

Right now I'm playing with shibori so I tie up my silk before mordanting, and then dye in a dye pot for a couple of hours.  I've also applied dye directly to damp, mordanted fabric and rolling it up in plastic wrap and steaming.  Not sure if that makes any difference at all. Smiley

Thanks so much you lovely dye-ers!

Bonus question: Liles also mentions oxalic acid as a mordant.  Any thoughts on where I could get this?  Neither Dharma Trading nor Maiwa Handprints (my two sources for dying supplies) seem to carry it.

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Attempting my first quilt.  English paper piecing.  Sewing together 900 hexagons.
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will work for yarn

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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011 07:21:26 AM »

I don't know where you can buy it commerically, but if you know anyone with a large crop of rhubarb who's be happy to let you have some leaves you can self-process it. they don't have to cut the whole leaves off or harvest things they don't want to either, you can trim up to half of the leaf off each stalk and it will continue to grow; well I've found this from my own experience of tidying my veg beds but I'm pretty sure it must work outside of my garden!


but it does seem long and drawn out.... I hope you find somewhere Wink
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