Madder Root Powder (red, purple and orange dye)
madder root powder, Rubia tinctorum.
We currently work with a farmer group in India to source this madder. Within a few years we hope to have a built-up seed supply and production method to source sufficient quantity in the US, but for now, we know you are going to love this madder root powder!
- Madder Root powder must be extracted first (without fabric added to bath) for maximum color options.
- Prior to dyeing, weigh fabric and calculate %WOF desired shade of Madder
- Mix 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. Agitate in dye bath frequently.
We recommend following red recipes in Jim Liles book "The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing"
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!)
Overnight extraction of the madder root powder by soaking in warm water and straining out the roots will yield more color and more even results. Roots can be extracted several times before exhausting.
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 100-200% WOF madder powder in hot water. Add pre-wet fabric. Hold at 160F (70C) for 1 h with regular stirring.
For Orange, follow the red recipe but omit the tannic acid and only use 50% WOF madder powder.
Madder dye baths may be reused to get paler pinks, oranges, and corals. Feel free to reuse several times!