Madder root is a natural dye that produces a gorgeous array of reds, oranges, corals and pinks on natural fibres.
One of the oldest sources of red dye, but with more orange tones than it's sister natural red cochineal. Native to southern Europe and the Mediterranean, madder was once widely cultivated to make the coveted colour red.
The powdered root is available in 15 and 30g quantities, and each comes in a recycled paper envelop. 15g will dye 400g of fibre a light shade; 30g will dye 400g of fibre a dark shade or 800g a light shade.
Madder should be used with a mordant, such as alum (www.etsy.com/ca/listing/291775577/alum-mordant-for-natural-dyes-potassium) or iron, to help prevent fading with washing or exposure to light (colourfastness).
As with most natural dyes, the colours will be stronger on protein fibres such as wool or silk. Madder on cellulose fibres like cotton and linen tend to be paler and more subdued. Synthetic fibres tend not to take up natural dyes.
Equipment and Safety
Pre mix each dye vat ingredient in small containers of water to avoid lumps. Always add powder to liquid, not liquid to powder (to prevent powder from flying everywhere). Wear gloves and an apron to avoid staining your hands and clothes. Always dye in a well ventilated area and use separate pots and utensils from your cooking pots.
* Please note that none of the fibres or jars are included. This listing is for powdered madder root in a paper envelop.