Volume 6, Issue 3
Winter 2001

Natural Dye System

After years of looking for a quality natural dye we have found it in the E-color system. Consisting of 5 colors; cochineal, madder, osage, cutch and indigo. We are selling a highly concentrated dye paste and/or powder. Each small jar can easily dye 2-5 lbs of fabric. The indigo is the first to be sold pre-reduced. This eliminates the use of lye (sodium hydroxide) and allows for the use of safe mordants and chemicals like soda ash, alum, sodium bicarbonate, sodium hydrosulfate and hydrogen peroxide.

Natural dyes are well known for their beautiful colors. Devotees of natural dyes talk about the subtleties and complexities of the colors. The dyeing technique has evolved over thousands of years of use, but the basic process remains. First the dyer mordants the fabric and then dyes the fabric. Traditionally, the mordant phase was complex. Different mordants gave different colors. There are different mordants for different dyes or different fabrics. Despite being natural dyes, mordants used were often toxic. Also, the dyes themselves were essentially a bunch of bark or bags of seeds that had to be boiled or chemically treated to extract the color. The strength and hue of these colors from plant or animal materials varied a lot from time to time or from batch to batch. In modern times, dyers interested in using natural dye materials are developing concentrates so that one can use them the same way one would dye with chemical dyes. What we offer here are concentrated natural dyes. The E-Color Natural Dye System offers the dyer


Dear Readers,

I guess I'll start off with one word, "procrastination". That would explain the absence of more regular emails or newsletters. With the summer finally over, I guess real work has to continue and start again for our busy fall season. We have just finished another successful Creative Sewing and Needlework Show here in Toronto. Everyone loved our new brocades; so much so, some have sold out before I have had a chance to announce them. You'll notice a slew of new products, books and workshops. We're especially excited by the new E-color Natural Dyes (see article). If you're in the mood to learn we have two guest teachers this season in Pam Woodward and Jan Peason, along with expanded topics taught by Erin Hickey and myself (see last page for full details on workshops).

Until next edition



ease of use: a single mordant for all colors and crystalline natural dye extracts. The dyes are of the highest quality and their production process conforms to ecologically sound methods.

Pre-Reduced Indigo

The indigo blue color has played an important role in several cultures throughout history. There are an astounding number of books that are just devoted to this one dye. The famous Blue Men of Morocco are a north African tribe who dress from head to toe in indigo dyed fabric.

Traditionally natural indigo takes a considerable amount of effort to get it into a working dye bath. First off, it is not soluble in water. So you need to reduce it chemically with sodium hydrosulfate and lye. It is very involved and can be time consuming. As an alternative, we have a pre-reduced indigo. You still need to add Sodium Hydrosulfite, but

the lye is replaced by Sodium Carbonate. It only takes about 10 minutes to prepare the dye bath and you get the same unique results as with the regular indigo.

  Size Price
Cochineal 1/2oz $22.95
Madder 3/4oz $15.95
Osage 3/4oz $21.95
Cutch 1.5oz $6.95
Indigo 20gm $7.95
  225gm $45.95
Ecowet 250mL $5.95
  1.0L $15.00
Mordant 250gm $7.50
  500gm $12.00
Hydrogen Peroxide 60mL $3.00
Sodium Hydrosulfite 100gm $4.95
  500gm $18.95
G&S TNA Soap 60mL $1.75
  250mL $4.00
1.0L $8.50

To see or download the instruction sheets, please see our web site or call for more information. PDF FILE


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