Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers



Description: Fibrous excrement from plant-eaters, usually containing phosphates, carbonates, sulfates, chlorides, silicates, potassium, sodium, ammonium and fatty acids with a general 4.6 to 8.4 pH.
Other Names: Many, many euphemisms down through the ages
Dye Use: Used for centuries to fix mordants into fiber, remove unabsorbed mordant, aid in cotton calico printing into 18th century, mainly with red and orange dyes. "Dunging" involved trampling dyed fabric in bins of dung and water.
Best On: Cellulose fibers
Dye Recipe: Dilute 50-60 times its volume in water, soak several days, strain and use liquid to soak freshly dyed fiber. Rinse fiber well and dry.
Safety: If handling dung, keep tetanus shots up to date.
Disposal: Down the toilet or as manure on plants
Alternative: Any moderately neutral alkaline
Source: Any friendly cow, sheep, goat, rabbit, camel!

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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