July 19, 2012

alum mordant, dyeing with cabbage

 Well, dyeing with cabbage didn't go so well for me.  Yeah, pretty much just white fabric at the end.  I dunno, the colours in the bath were amazing, and I definitely want to try again, maybe leaving the fabric to soak longer, or something.  I read that red cabbage might not actually be colour fast, though.  Anyways, I chopped up the cabbage, simmered it for a hour, added the fabric, simmered for another hour.  Then I added baking soda, which made it turn BRIGHT TEAL.  It was so cool and I really wish had attached to the fabric at all.  Anyways, any tips from proper dyers out there?

I thought I'd add mordant info, in case anyone was interested. I found specific info difficult to find.  I mixed washing soda and alum together in hot water, then let the fabric soak in the bath for three days.
Alum: can be found in the baking section of the grocery store, in a jar near the spices in mine.  Use 1/4 the weight of the fabric in alum (ex, 25 grams for 100 grams of fabric).
Washing soda: can be easily made by baking baking soda on a high temperature. It will noticeably change texture when it's changed, I think after about an hour.  Add this in a 6 grams for every 100 grams of fabric.

Anyways, I've just dyed with avocado skins, but photos will have to wait until I get back from the weekend.  Seb and I are heading to Quebec City to visit his family.  Also, we're going to Pink Floyd performing The Wall, which I hadn't heard until this evening, but now I'm prepared!  Should be....weird and fun?!


  1. I have used this information and have gotten some gorgeous color from black beans! Thank you very much. I would enjoy knowing, have your naturally dyed fabrics kept their color?

    1. I've wondered this too. I'm using them in a quilt, and it's taking me forever! The pieces are cut, and as they've been tucked away in the dark and haven't seen much sunlight they have kept their colour really well. I'm curious to see what happens when they are out in the sunlight (not direct, but still being exposed to more light than they currently are).