Natural Dyeing with Pomegranate
The gorgeous, bright thick husk of the Pomegranate, surprisingly, yields a lovely, soft yellow to yellow-green color. It is a gentle hue and tends to stay in the pastel range.
Pomegranate, the delicious fruit well-known for its gorgeous gem-like mo
rsels, is native to ancient Persia, spreading throughout the Mediterranean region over the centuries. It wasn’t brought to Southern California and its temperate climate until the 1700’s, but it quickly took off and flourished there as well. Although most think that the gorgeous magenta fruit must imbue fibers with its same color, the tannins in the plant actually end up creating the lasting bond with a much more muted color.
Pomegranate has been used since ancient times as both a natural dye and as a mordant in preparation for dyeing. The fruit is also, most famously, consumed as a food for its rich supply of vitamins, minerals and natural sugars.
Pomegranate dyes in a range of yellow to light green hues on natural fibers.
Pomegranate does not require a pre-mordant for long-lasting results (wash fastness and light fastness), but use of one increases the colors lightfast and washfast qualities.
In addition, Alum can be used in advance for a brighter, crisper yellow result that lasts longer and fades less quickly. And Iron shifts Pomegranate to an olive-green-grey hue with lots of old world style.
HOW MUCH TO USE
Pomegranate can be used at 30% for a more rich color &/or creating a mordanted dye surface. In general, when tannin-rich sources are used as a mordant, they are combined with another mordant to strengthen their chemical bond ability. So instead of simply using Pomegranate as a sole "mordant," combine it with, for example, Alum, by first cooking in Pomegranate. Then, afterward, cook in Alum, followed by the Natural Dye of choice.
When used as a dye color at 30%, a package of 40 grams of Pomegranate will dye approximately 100 grams (dry weight) of fiber/fabric. If using for color, it will continue to dye in lighter shades till the dye has been used up. Use less for a lighter hue.
NATURAL DYE TIP
NATURAL DYE RESULTS
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For more information on Natural Dyes and each step of the Natural Dye process, check out "Intro to Natural Dye," ANINI Designs' 48-page eBook.
I cover everything I teach in my 4-hour in-person Intro to Natural Dye Workshops, in addition to offering eco-friendly adaptions to the process.