Mordants and Natural Dyeing, The Great Debate

Carrie Sundra of Alpenglow Yarns is the Voice of Reason on the safe use of mordants. . One’s choices are one’s own in the ecoprint endeavour, so by all means diverge from the science if you please. For myself, I am trying to gather the facts! More on that later. Jane Deane at FB The Wild Dyery brought this article to the attention of the dye community.

Alpenglow Yarn

I’ve thought about writing this post for a while. This topic, more than anything else in natural dyeing, brings up emotion and occasional controversy. My goal with this post is to present some facts, with references to reputable sources that you can check and read further. Natural dye books unfortunately tend to be bastions of misinformation, rife with generalities and opinions that are expressed as facts, and I do not consider the majority of them to be reputable sources of factual information about chemicals or chemistry.

I always kind of cringe when someone asks me about mordants and their toxicity.  It’s not because I’m reluctant to talk about it, it’s just that it’s a complex subject and I usually don’t have time at a show or in an interview to address the topic well.  It’s a difficult one to answer succinctly. That’s a big reason that I chose to write about it…

View original post 3,679 more words

6 thoughts on “Mordants and Natural Dyeing, The Great Debate

    1. So sorry, Jane! My apologies to you and the author of the article. What is th correct attribtion? Will post it ASAP.

      Great to read it, anyway. i am compiling a list of useful refs along the same lines re the health and safefty of using iron



    2. The author of the blog post on mordants (mentioned above and reblogged on Threadborne) is Carrie Sundra of Alpenglow Yarns. My apologies to Carrie for the misattribution


  1. Hi. This is great info. I can use it in class and I sent it to my colleague who teaches the science end of our dye class. Maybe I can blame all these chemicals on my forgetfulness and allergies. More likely my age and my cats. Great blog

    Peggy Cox. (Westminster College ,New Wilmington PA)

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