26. Feb, 2019

Mordanting Cotton Day today

Having scoured my cotton I am ready to mordant - first with tannin and then with a soda ash 1.05% WOF and Alum 12% weight of fabric. The tannin adhere easily to the fabric and makes it easier for the alum to do its fixing process with the dye coming from the leaves etc so it is worth the effort. In the US they use oak gall tannin which does not discolour the fabric at all. The oak gall is made from the incursion of an insect (wasp) but we do not have this in New Zealand so I am trying out various tannins at the moment. Using oak gall does not discolour the fabric unless the water used is too hot. While I do not mind the aged look to the fabric achieved here, I want to find an alternative that leaves the fabric as white as possible. Here I have about 2 metres of white scoured cotton and .5 of a metre of commercially printed white on white fabric that I want to experiment with - I did this with procion dyes and got a great result so now I want to see what happens with eco dying, And because i love layering prints I can already see that there will be some interesting developments here I am sure. The tannin I used here was from chestnuts and is used in the wine making industry. In the photo it had been rinsed till the water ran clear. I have noted it seems a bit whiter since I put it in the alum solution. I just purchased a nice large stock pot for my dying processes so I have plenty of room to work with larger quantities now.