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Dye With Fustic Chips

Maclura tinctoria

Related to the Mulberry tree. The dye comes from the inner wood of the trunk.

Dyeing with fustic chips produces a range of colours from strong dark yellows to an attractive peach on silk, cotton and wool when mordanted with alum.

Use alum mordant at 15% WOF for both protein and cellulose fibres.

With an iron mordant is yields dark greens.

It can be used as a base colour with indigo to give greens and teals.

Has been used since ancient times for textile dyeing.

Fustic has good light and washfastness qualities.

There is sufficient tannin in fustic to avoid using any tannin.

Colour will vary depending on the water pH and mineral content.

It is best known for creating the classic khaki colour in clothing. During WW1  fustic was used to dye army uniforms.

To dye with fustic:-

50g of fustic chips to 100g of mordanted fibre

Boil the fustic chips in a small amount of water and leave to soak overnight.

The next day simmer for about 1/2 hour.

Leave to cool.

Strain  through cheesecloth to remove wood. The wood chips can be dried and used again for paler shades.

Add sufficient water to the dye solution to cover the material to be dyed.

Add the pre-wetted and mordanted fibre to the dye bucket and gently bring to a simmer. 

Hold temperature for about 45 minutes.

Remove from the dyebath and cool.

Rinse. Wash. Rinse.

Dry out of direct sunlight.

Buy fustic chips  here

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