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
We have both raw and extract of Wattle. Some dyers like a soft shade of brown they can use in its raw state or to strengthen the light fast qualities of other dyes not known for such high lightest properties which is when a percentage of extract is practical. Wattle is high in tannin so a good softer shade to hide in the background to do some hard work for you. The difference between raw and extract will be the percentage of dye used and for the application you require. The extract has gentle shades of browns that often throw a grey tone while the raw form is quite a warm brown.
Protein fibres use alum mordant at 15% WOF.
Cellulose fibres there is no need to use the tannin process here as Bark of Acacia contains enough tannin within itself. There are then 2 choices, either 15% WOF of alum or 8% WOF of alum acetate.
Dissolve Bark of Acacia with a small amount of boiling water, it can be inclined to be clunky and stick together a bit but gently persevere, more so with the extract.
Raw form colour is a lot more gentle than extract but you will find after first dye bath the oxidation creates a deeper shade. 20 - 100% WOF is recommended, if using as a tannin 15 - 60% WOF depending on depth of shade required.
Extract 10 -30% WOF gives medium shades.
Once dissolved let sit for 15 minutes to dissolve thoroughly, add to dye bath then add fibres. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1-2 hours. You can leave to sit in dye bath overnight for stronger saturation.
This wonderful dye bath often gets better when reheated the next day after oxidising and a 3rd day should never be discounted!.
For deeper shades you can add 2-4% WOF of iron (ferrous sulphate). There is so much to discover with this dye we encourage you to experiment.
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.