My experiments with natural

Natural dyes for cotton

Plant or cellulose fibres tend to be more difficult to dye than wool or silk. The practices listed here are appropriate to scour and mordant cotton fiber and other types of plant fibres such as bamboo, linen, tencel and hemp.

It is main to first scour the cotton perfectly. You then have actually a choice of mordanting it with aluminium acetate, which is quicker, or utilising the conventional three-step procedure, with successive mordant baths of alum, tannin after which alum once more.

Note: if you should be dyeing with woad or indigo, you certainly do not need to mordant the cotton fiber, nevertheless nonetheless need to scour it.



1. How exactly to scour cotton fiber

Scouring eliminates the dust and oil that fibres accumulate during manufacturing and transportation.

Very first clean the cotton fiber in washing machine using a long programme and very hot water. Make use of a non-bleach washing dust, nor use textile softeners.

Half fill a 10 litre stainless steel pot with water. Do not fill it above that because it is prone to boil over also it might even kill the flame on a gas band.

Weigh out 35 grams of soft drink ash but don't add liquid on soda ash! Rather include the soda ash slowly and very carefully toward liquid when you look at the cooking pot.

Whenever bubbles have actually subsided place the damp material to the liquid and carefully stir using a lengthy stainless steel spoon. Leave the spoon inside the pot, to prop the lid slightly open which prevents the fluid from boiling over. Bring the water towards boil.

Adjust the warmth to low boil/hard simmer and allow the fibre to boil half covered for two hours. Stir the fabric every 15 minutes to ensure it is becoming properly scoured. Put the top down whenever stirring and hold the pot with one gloved hand to stop it from toppling over.

After a couple of hours remove the saucepan from the temperature resource and enable the textile to cool off until it may be properly removed from the water. You'll likely a bit surpised at just how dirty the water looks.

Eventually rinse the textile. If the scouring water was brown or grey (for example. a lot more than mildly dirty), repeat the procedure with brand new water and soft drink ash.

2. Why you should scour cotton fiber

Decide to try evaluating your dry material if your wanting to scour, and then weigh it once more afterward, with regards to features dried out. You are going to discover that, also shrinking, your fabric features lost about 10% in body weight.

We washed and scoured 2.50 metres of cotton, that we desired to color with indigo then make into a top. Before scouring, the textile considered 350 grams, afterward it weighed 315 grams. The 35 grams it destroyed ended up being due to all of the natural oils and waxes found in the manufacturing procedure therefore the size (starches) put into make the textile look good when you purchase it. By examining the weight loss you can see how important it is to get rid of dozens of additives by scouring your fabric well before you mordant or dye.

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