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The mordanting process, in fact, is the necessary procedure to prepare the fibers for dyeing with natural dyes in order to facilitate bonding between the fibers and natural dyes, and making them stable.
Clearly, as well as the dyeing with natural dyes, mordants can also be made on both fibers, of yarns, fabrics and artifacts. And also remember that the natural dyes (unlike synthetic ones) dye only natural materials.
As you know, when dealing with natural dyes we can only ask for our well-known and trusted consultant, Paola Barzanò. She explained patiently how to achieve a perfect mordanting.
It is a process made using mordants, especially mineral or synthetic salts (such as potassium alum), but also vegetable materials (such as tannins). Depending on the type of natural fiber to be dyed, the techniques for mordanting may vary.
In order to perform this process on animal fibers (and/or yarns and fabrics obtained by them) made of a protein base more similar to natural dyes, only one bath should be used.
In order to perform the mordanting process on vegetal fibers (and/or yarns and fabrics obtained by them) less similar to natural dyes, it is necessary to do it twice to obtain a more stable colour.
To this end, in the mordanting of vegetable fibers tannins (plant substances present for example in the bark of plants such as oak and chestnut) give a colour of variable intensity to the fibers, depending on the type of tannin used. The gallnut of the oak is the most neutral and widely used tannin for dyeing fibers with light colours so that it interferes less with the colour bath.
Natural animal fibers (and/or yarns and fabrics obtained by them), thanks to their protein composition, which is similar to the dyeing extracted from plants and insects, need an easy mordanting process, in one bath only. Hereafter there is an explanation of the different steps of the mordanting process for all colours, except for indigo and woad.
Mordanting natural animal fibers (and/or yarns and fabrics obtained by them), is a process composed of two or three different baths.
And now, it’s time to play with colours. Let us know the results you get. We bet they will be fantastic!
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