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
Protein fibres use alum mordant at 15% WOF.
Cellulose fibres pre mordant with tannin at 8% WOF then mordant with alum acetate for best results at 8% WOF or if not available 15% of alum WOF.
Madder loves hard water so if your water source is softer try some calcium carbonate to harden your water to achieve the best reds possible.
Dyeing - Raw dye stuff
Soak weighed madder for an hour before dyeing. Overnight is good too.
After soaking slowly bring the vat to 60 degrees and hold that heat for 45mins. Allow to cool for easier handling then strain through cloth or muslin. PRO TIP: many people use nylon stocking as cloth and muslin absorbs the precious dye.
The strained dye is ready for your dye bath. Make sure you have enough water in the pot for the fabric to move freely. Add fabric and again slowly return dye bath to 60 degrees and hold for 45 - 60mins.
For a more saturated colour leave the fabric in dye bath overnight.
Keep dye material for a second bath or to add to bundle dye projects. If not using straight away lay our to dry before storing.
Dyeing - Extract
A concentrated pigment, use 5 - 30% WOF.
Place dye in a bowl and add warm water, no hotter than 60 degrees.
Stir until dissolved and leave to sit for approx 15 minutes to thoroughly dissolve dye then add to pot. Again add enough water for fabric to move freely.
It is always best to stir the dye bath for the first 15mins to evenly distribute dye particles.
Slowly bring to 60 degree temp. Hold for 45 - 60mins. For more saturated colour allow to sit in dye bath overnight.
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 email@example.com.
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.