US­ING MORDANTS

NZ Gardener - Gifts from the Gardens - - Crafts -

In most cases, a mor­dant, or dye fix­a­tive, is needed to make your dye bond with the fi­bres and be­come per­ma­nent. Mordants can pro­duce shades that are brighter, darker or al­to­gether dif­fer­ent from the colour of the plant source. For ex­am­ple, with mad­der, alum pro­duces a rich Chi­nese-lac­quer red, while chrome yields a gar­net red. Iron dark­ens the colour; tin makes the colour brighter. Con­sult books or on­line blogs to find the best mordants to use for your plant ma­te­rial – then ex­per­i­ment! Record your dye­ing meth­ods as you go.

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