Natural dye fades. Yes it does. Celebrate it.
The expectation of 100% guarantee in our modern world has far reaching ramifications silently building in the background of our lives. That nothing is permanent or perfect is a breathtaking and empowering realisation. The best way to describe colour fading is that it is the exquisite journey of natural dye. It is not a blatant fade as with chemical dyes. Instead it goes on a slow journey - breaking down the hues and shades that nature has built with her pigments. The wonderful thing not many realise is that if mordanted correctly at the beginning of the dyeing process the garment can be re-dyed multiple times over its lifetime without having to re-mordant.
Here are some tips on how to reduce this happening:
•Launder with a neutral PH detergent, or as close to neutral as possible
•Rinse clothing thoroughly after washing to remove any excess detergent
•Never hang item to dry in direct sunlight, dry in shade
•Clothing really doesn’t need washing after each wear. After wearing if given a good shake and hung up it will be fine for quite a few wears. Often hanging out on a hanger in the shade can be enough to freshen your garment.
•Definitely no bleach, wool wash or stain remover please!
•It is advisable to wash separately for the first couple of washes just in case there is a colour run off. When we wash items we wash until a clear water run off occurs but occasionally residual colour can run in first washes.
•Avoid soaking in water for long period of time
When working with ground walnut we like to soak the powder overnight prior to heating, then simmer for 2 hours to oxygenate the dye in the bath, stirring regularly. Strain excess plant matter prior to adding dye to bath.
Ground walnut needs 60 - 100% WOF.
Many dyers feel no need to use a mordant with Walnut as it is considered a substantive dye, your choice and please experiment, you can use the following techniques:
Protein fibres use alum mordant at 15% WOF.
If using as a dye there is enough tannin in Walnut so you can proceed straight to Alum at 15% WOF or Alum acetate at 8% WOF.
To extract dye Walnut needs to be boiled and simmered for 1 hour. Good results are achieved by soaking in water overnight prior to boiling to get the most out of ground walnut. Bring to the boil then reduce heat to simmer for the hour.
After the hour cool the bath down to strain grounds safely or add fibre to the bath with grounds remaining. It is your choice but be vigilant and stir regularly if leaving the grounds in. If straining return dye to bath with enough water to allow fibre to move freely and add fibre. Stir and return to boil then reduce heat and hold simmer for 1 hour.
For greater saturation you can leave the fibre to cool in the bath overnight and rinse the next day.
Please view our Natural Dyes Instruction Guide for more information.
Online purchases made on FabricofHumanity.com over $150 will receive free shipping within Australia. Shipping on purchases under $150 will be calculated o weight and will be calculated at cart checkout. International purchases will be charged on weight and destination and will be calculated at cart checkout. We ship using Australia Post and Sendle as trusted national and international shipping agents, who have a carbon-neutral shipping service (& Sendle is B Corp registered) and do offer tracking. International orders may be subject to taxes and duties and these costs are the responsibility of you, the customer. We recommend checking with your local authorities to understand possible charges before placing your order. It is important to note that depending on which country you are shipping to, Natural Dyes and Khadi & handloom textiles are considered to be unique to region and therefore can obtain duty free clearance in most circumstances - but still important to check locally. Parcels of international customers who decline to pay taxes and duties, will be returned to Fabric of Humanity and the order value will be refunded less the original shipping fee. If we currently do not ship to your country please let us know by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fabric of Humanity is a social enterprise creating sustainable employment and positive impact with natural dyes and textiles. When you make a purchase you are not just a customer. You become a custodian and take a vital place within our story.