Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mordant Day

My art friend Johanna, who always inspires me, was talking about mordants.  I told her I didn't use mordants, but truth be told, I did an internet search for mordants, and found this at Wikipedia:
A mordant is a substance used to set dyes on fabrics 
There were actually two types of mordants: acidic and alkaline.  Two of the most common (let's not include urine, which is also a common mordant) are

alum, a product I first used in my eco fabric dyeing, and iron. 

Boy, can I produce IRON.  All you need is a glass jar, something or THINGS that are already rusty, vinegar that you fill halfway in said jar where the rusty item(s) have previously been placed, and water, used to fill the jar the rest of the way.

Seal the lid on the jar and wait until the water turns orange.  This is the hard part, because it can take up to a month for the liquid in the jar to turn into iron mordant.  The ironic thing is, I just had some of that orange water I poured into my flower bed the day before I learned how to make iron mordant compliments of the internet.

I learned you can use mordants in three ways, pre-mordanting (fabric treated with mordant before dyeing), meta-mordanting (adding the mordant to the dye bath), and post-mordanting (fabric treated with mordant after it is dyed).  For my purposes, I will be adding the mordant either during or after the dyeing process, since all my fabrics are dyed in non-conventional manners using non-conventional dyeing substances.

Thanks for visiting today, because this is an important step in my learning how to dye better, how to make my dyed fabrics colorfast, and how to change the actual color after the dye has been administered.  I promise to keep you posted, too, although this is not a quick process.

9 thoughtful remarks:

Valerie-Jael said...

Thanks for the interesting know how on mordants, I use alum with my colours when I am marbling paper. Have a fun day, hugs, Valerie

froebelsternchen Susi said...

Super interesting with this all -I didn't know this... thank you for sharing!

My name is Erika. said...

Nice post. I like posts I can learn something, and you really clarified for me what the mordant process entails. I've used the alum but not the rust in my limited fabric dyeing, and I love the idea of making iron/rust. You can use these nails and bit to make marks on your fabric in your eco dying too, and I am wondering, can you soak the fabric in the orange water as a dye or does it just act as a mordant? Hope you week is going well-I am off for another day at work! Hugs!

Nan G said...

Cool. Always something interesting going on /to be learnt at your your place, E. No garage or basement here for me to make rust so I'm practicing make it using paints. Hugs from me and the Girls

~*~Patty S said...

Very interesting stuff E!
I have only used vinegar and that was back when I dyed wools.
I tell myself not to worry about it since what I use will not be going in the wash. I have wondered how the dyes will hold up over time and with lightfastness too.

Meggymay said...

Vinegar I knew about and its uses, so reading this post has been very informative. Its amazing what we learn when we visit in blogland.
Yvonne xx

pearshapedcrafting said...

This is such an interesting post - I knew a little about the factory process of dyeing but had never related it to home dyeing! Look forward to seeing your results! Hugs, Chrisx

Kelly Deal said...

Thanks for sharing! I can't dye fabric for the life of me. The color turns out to be too light or it doesn't look like I dyed the fabric at all.

Linda Kunsman said...

very interesting Elizabeth , and thanks so much for the super descriptions and how to's!