Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Day Lily Dyed Fabric Using an Alum Mordant

Here day lilies laid on cotton muslin were beautiful at first,
then faded to ugly stains because I didn't use a mordant first.

Going back to the summer of 2011, I discovered that my dark maroon/purple and dark orange/red day lilies would "dye" cotton when just left on the fabric.  I was so elated, but what I later realized, when the images began to fade and after doing some remedial reading in a book about "flower pounding," was that you have to mordant the natural fabric (cotton, linen, rayon, ramie) in alum first in order for the flower shape/color to stay.  (Check "The Art and Craft of Pounding Flowers" by Laura C. Martin.)  So I'm hoping that the mordant will keep the day lily flower shapes and color rather than fading to a stain.

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