Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers

Aluminum Acetate


Description: Acid mordant, white water-soluble powder with acetic odor; used by at least CE 1750 for Turkey Red dyeing; the technique may have been used earlier but not by this name.
Other Names: Alum, alum acetate, acetic acid alum, aluminum acetate, aluminum hydroxide acetate, aluminum subacetate
Dye Use: Strong mordant; better than alum for cotton; waterproofs fiber if heated too high
Best On: Cotton, linen, hemp, ramie and other plant fibers
Dye Recipe: Use ATA recipe under alum, using 4 tbsp aluminum acetate
Safety: Skin, eye and respiratory irritant. Ingestion can cause severe nausea, convulsions and even death
Disposal: Dilute considerably, pour down toilet or sink
Alternative: 3 tsp alum + 1 tsp soda ash
Source: Chemical supply house

CODES: c = cup; gal = gallon; lb = pound (weight); tbsp = Tablespoon; tsp = teaspoon / [AF] Anglo-French; [Ar] Arabic; [AS] Anglo-Saxon; [Dan] Danish; [Du] Dutch; [Fr] French; [Ger] German; [Gk] Greek; [It] Italian; [L] Classical Latin; [LL] Late Latin; [ME] Middle English; [ML] Modern Latin; [OE] Old English; [OF] Old French; [ON] Old Norse; [OS] Old Saxon; [Port] Portuguese; [Sp] Spanish; [Sw] Swedish / CE = Common Era; BCE = Before Common Era

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