Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers



Description: Alkali modifier, white or yellowish lumps or pellets formed by potassium carbonate and quicklime, known in ancient times
Other Names: Caustic potash, lee, lie, legh, lgef, liege, ley, leye, lexiua, lyen, muriate of potash, potassium hydrate, potassium hydroxide [L] lixivium, [OE] leag
Dye Use: Develops and oxidizes indigo; neutralizes acids.
Best On: Cellulose fibers, wool; never use on silk
Dye Recipe: See directions for indigo vats
Safety: Corrosive when wet; gives off flammable gas. Serious burns if ingested. Can permanently blind if splashed into eyes! Handle with extreme care. Always add caustic soda to cold water, never hot.
Disposal: Can be poured down toilet if well diluted and neutralized. Do not pour into toilet with self-cleaner in it, or a chlorine gas may result.
Alternative: Soda ash, Epsom salts + water softener, magnesium + water softener
Source: Hardware stores, beauty supply shops that carry lye hair straighteners

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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