I wrote a response on-line at Yahoo, but i think it got lost, so i'm
re-writing and mailing from my e-mail client. I apologize if
something like this shows up twice.
Gwendoline Rosamond wrote:
>Actually, you can get a fairly bright "lime" green. Kass did a yellow &
>blue dying combination that came out pretty bright, but I can't find the
>pictures on her website. I'm not sure of her mordant or what fibre was
>dyed maybe she will poke her head out and tell us more... Also don't
>forget colours can vary with the same dyes, mordants, & textiles
>depending on the water sources.
I had more about mordants and minerals in dye bath water in my
original post, but i edited it out, as it was already far too long.
Thanks for bringing it up.
As for mordants, alum was the most common mordant in "period" and was
an important trade item. Alum makes fairly clear bright colors. Tin
and chrome are mordants that were used OOP and make even clearer
brighter colors. Chrome is no longer much used as it is so toxic. I
used alum, tin, and chrome when i was experimenting with natural dyes
in the 1970s, as well as iron (which saddens colors - makes them
greyer - a "period" mordant) and tannin (which adds some degree of
warm beige to colors - also used in "period"). If dyeing is done in a
copper or copper-lined pot the copper will also affect the color (may
Then there's the (false) idea that natural dyes only make "earthy" or
dull colors - this seems to be spread especially at Ren Fairs.
Natural dyes can make fairly bright colors. Nothing dull about a
saturated kermes or cochineal blue-red. But brightness is relative.
My remarks were about the comparison of natural dyes with paints,
which may or may not be brighter, and with modern dyes, which are so
much brighter, especially since they have UV enhancers for