Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers



Description: Fairly neutral modifier, occurs in nature. Old dye recipes that called for 'chalk' meant calcium carbonate or slaked lime, not French or tailor's chalk (also known as school chalk). Used since earliest times as whitening pigment for earth oxides in fresco work; used now in lime and cement manufacture.
Other Names: Aeromatt, albacar, aragonite, precipitated calcium carbonate calcite, calc-spar, carbonate of lime, drop chalk, limestone, prepared chalk, precipitated chalk, [ME] chalke, [OE] cealc, [L] calc, regional names such as Champagne chalk, Bologna chalk, etc.
Dye Use: Neutralizes acids without creating an alkaline condition, fixes some mordants into fiber. Good in red dyes, indigo vats. Enhances dyewoods on all fibers
Best On: Cellulose fibers
Dye Recipe: A goodly pinch or two to 1 gal enhances colors, especially dyewoods
Safety: Fairly inert material; no hazard if not inhaled or not ingested
Disposal: Pour down toilet
Alternative: Slaked lime
Source: Griffin Dyeworks

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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