Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers

Slaked Lime


Description: Alkali modifier, coarse soft white crystalline powder with 9.4 pH in solution; created by action of water on calcium oxide (unslaked lime), known to ancient dyers. When old dye recipes call for 'lime' it is either slaked or unslaked lime, not citric acid.
Other Names: Calcium hydroxide, aragonite, calcium hydrate, calcrete, caliche, coral, duricrust, hydrated lime, Iceland spar, lime hydrate, limestone, lime-water, marble, [ME] cealc, calx, calcis, [India] kankar
Dye Use: Neutralizes acids without creating the opposite alkaline solution. Used to reduce oxygen in dyebath for indigo vats. "Milk of lime" or "lime water" is a solution of calcium hydroxide or of calcium oxide.
Best On: Cellulose fiber
Dye Recipe: Pinch or two added to dye-bath will enhance or even change some colors, especially woods.
Safety: Corrosive to skin and eyes, respiratory tract, mucous membranes. Wear mask when handling lime
Disposal: Neutralize, pour down toilet or sink
Alternative: Anti-acid tablets (TUMS®) may be dissolved and added to mordant or dye-bath
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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