mordant for red and green label dyes
  • Can anyone recommend a mordant to use with the red and green label dyes? I would like to try marbling on silk and will need to use a mordant since the fabric will be rinsed before steaming to remove the carrageen from the fabric. Thank you!
  • You probably don't really want to use either of these dyes for marbling. The problem is that true dyes are extremely soluble in water, and thus they tend to mix into the thickened water that you're trying to float them on top of for marbling. For marbling, it's better to use a fabric paint. Two of the fabric paints that Jacquard Products sells that are suitable for marbling are Jacquard Airbrush Colors and Jacquard Textile Colors; there are other brands of fabric paint that can be used for marbling, as well.

    Mordants are, usually, metal ions, which are used to treat fabric so that natural dyes that can't stick to the fiber by themselves will form a complex with the metal. Using mordants to fix natural dyes usually requires an extended period of simmering of the dyes with the fiber, in hot water. You cannot use mordants to fix Remazol dyes, such as the Jacquard Red Label and Green Label Silk Colors. Mordants will not work properly to fix Remazol dyes to fiber, although they may produce surprising distortions of the dyes' colors.

    Jacquard Green Label dyes are fixed, to silk and other protein fibers only, by the use of a low pH plus steaming, to set the dye with moist heat. Jacquard Red Label dyes can be used the same way on protein fibers, or set on cellulose fibers, such as cotton, with a high-pH chemical, such as soda ash, at a temperature around 40°C. Jacquard Green Label dyes can also be set with a chemical fixative, Jacquard Permanent Dyeset Concentrate, without heating. All of these methods work well, but using a mordant to fix these dyes will not give good results.

    -Paula
  • Thank you for your response and suggestions!