Griffin Dyeworks & Fiber Arts

Understanding Mordants and Modifiers

Tartaric Acid


Description: Acid modifier, white odorless crystalline powder; 11 times stronger than common cream of tartar; originally from wine lees after pressing red grapes or making tamarind juice; now laboratory produced as a commercial baking powder.
Other Names: Argol, dextrotartaric acid L-tartaric acid, tartar, [L] faecula, [Old] tartarium, tartarin, tartarine (also a type of silk fabric), [ML] tartarum, [Gk] tartaron, [ME] tarter, [Ger] weinsäure, weinsteinsäure, [Alchemic] tararus
Dye Use: Brightens color, especially silk; discharge agent, print resist
Best On: Wool, silk
Dye Recipe: Use 1 tsp in 1 gallon dyebath
Safety: Mild acid, used in foods, may irritate sensitive skin and eyes, can cause local irritation
Disposal: Dilute considerably, pour down sink or toilet
Alternative: Cream of tartar (double amount)
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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