Madder Paste Extract
madder (Rubia tinctorum) root paste.
We turn the madder root powder into a paste extract so you can skip the madder extraction and head straight to the dyeing step! This paste is concentrated and easy to use. We currently work with a farmer group in India to source this madder root starting material. Within a few years we hope to have a built-up seed supply and production method to source sufficient root quantity in the US, but for now, we know you are going to love this madder root paste that we make at our Tennessee USA factory!
- Madder Dyeing
Prior to dyeing, weigh fabric and calculate %WOF desired shade of Madder
- Mix madder paste well with hot water for several minutes.
- Liquid is ready to be used as a dye bath. Dyeing can occur at room temp or elevated depending on desired result. Bring up to 180F over 1 hour for best reds, and follow red recipes in Jim Liles book "The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing" for truest reds. Agitate in dye bath frequently.
Our favorite madder pre-mordants are alum or tannins. For deeper reds, use alum mordant and calcium carbonate (chalk). After dyeing, you can use iron as post-mordant for "saddening" the color to a muted purple-red. To take more orange, don't heat as much and add a mild acid like cream of tartar (yes the one in your spice cabinet!)
Some sample recipes:
Alum mordanted fabric, pre-rinse thoroughly
5% WOF tannic acid. Pre-dissolve in hot water, then add fabric and hold at 180-195 (80-90C) for cotton and 170-180 F for wool and silk for 1 h with regular stirring.
Pre-disperse 100% WOF madder paste in hot water. Add pre-wet fabric. Hold at 160F (70C) for 1 h with regular stirring. If colors are too orange, adjust the pH with a small amount of chalk (calcium carbonate) or a very tiny addition of soda ash (sodium carbonate) to shift the hue to red.
For Orange, follow the red recipe but omit the tannic acid and only use 50% WOF madder paste.
Madder dye baths may be reused to get paler pinks, oranges, and corals. Feel free to reuse several times!