Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers



Description: Alkali modifier, colorless crystals or white crystalline powder, pH 9.2 in solution. Found in ancient salt lakes. Chaucer mentions borax (C.T. Prol. 630).
Other Names: Boric acid, boron, colemanite, hydrated sodium borate, kernite, soda, sodium biborate, sodium borate, sodium pyroborate, sodium tetraborate, tencal, tincal, ulexite, jaikin, [OF] borras, bouras, [Ar] buraq, [Fr] bore, boraz, [Sp] borrox, [It] borrace
Dye Use: Deoxidizer, cleanser
Best On: Cellulose fibers
Dye Recipe: Just a pinch (1/16-1/8 tsp) at the end of simmering time can change colors
Safety: Eye irritation in powder form; ingestion can cause vomiting, shock and death
Disposal: Pour dilute solution on alkali-loving plants such as hydrangeas or down toilet
Alternative: Any alkaline additive does approximately the same thing, but each works differently
Source: Pharmacy, hardware store

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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