Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers



Description: Strong alkali modifier, white granular powder used in the manufacture of soft soaps. Known since ancient times; isolated by Sir Humphry Davy in the 1800s.
Other Names: Caustic potash, pearlash, pearl-ashes, pot-ashes, potashes, potassa, purified potassium carbonate, tartarin, [Fr] pottasse, [Du] potasschen, [Ger] pottasche
Dye Use: Indigo vats, with brazilwood for purples; with logwood for black; for 19th c. commercial cotton textile printing.
Best On: Cellulose fibers
Dye Recipe: Just a pinch for woods; follow indigo recipe
Safety: Highly corrosive; can cause severe skin burns and eye damage, ingestion can cause death.
Disposal: Neutralize, pour down toilet or sink
Alternative: Soda ash, caustic soda, caustic potash
Source: Chemical supply house

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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