Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers

Epsom Salts


Description: Alkali modifier, colorless or white crystalline efflorescent powder officially isolated around 1675
Other Names: Bitter salts, English salt, Epsom, epsomite, magnesia, magnesium oxide, magnesium sulfate heptahydrate
Dye Use: Weighting cotton and silk, bleaching fiber, can substitute (with soda ash or water softener) for caustic alkalis such as lye in neutralizing acids, possibly developing indigo vats. Much experimentation is needed in this area.
Best On: Silk, cotton
Dye Recipe: Unknown—experiment!
Safety: Found in anti-acids, can be toxic if pure form is ingested in larges doses
Disposal: Dilute considerably, pour down sink
Alternative: MaaloxTM, milk of magnesia
Source: Pharmacy, grocery 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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