8. May, 2020
The Importance of Scouring Fabric
It never ceases to amaze me how much "stuff comes out into the water when scouring. This water was clear before i started and look at it now. That is all the size and dressing etc that was in the fabric ans would stop me mordanting well or getting good leaf prints. This is cotton fabric. I weighed it first and then dissolved 8% of that weight with boiling water and added it to the pot I was going to boil the fabric in. I added a dessertspoon of Fairy dishwash and boiled the fabric for about an hour and a half. It will need to be washed now before mordanting and dying. You can just was and dry at this stage and mordant later but I tend to do a largish batch of fabric so I have plenty to work with going forward. I do suggest whatever you do that you label the unused fabric so that you know what processes you have completed so the using scoured but unmordanted fabric doesn't end up as a disaster with eco dying. today I will mordant with first a 10% by original dry weight of fabric of tannin and steep in hot water for about an hour. When using the alum again do not boil the water. but steep for about an hour. Water should be around 60 degree centigrade or 140 degrees fahrenheit Using cotton is quite a bit f preparation work if you want good prints which is why many people stick to silk but I am stubborn and find more ways to use the resulting cotton fabric so continue to use this method.