In beginning any new project, the proper amount of Madder Paste Extract needs to be calculated.
First, we need to measure the weight of fabric, WOF. We recommend using 100% WOF for to achieve the deepest most reddish shades possible. For Madder orange, only 50% WOF is needed. For example, if you are dying 500 grams (1 pound) worth of fiber, you would need grams of paste for red, and 250 grams for orange.
If we are calculating 50% of paste this would be our formula:
Weight of Fiber x 0.5 = Amount of Madder Root paste needed (by weight)
Before dyeing, be sure to mordant your fibers accordingly.
We made it easy by extracting the dye from our Madder roots for you. To prepare your dye bath, fill a pot with hot water, enough to allow your fiber to float freely. Add the pre-measured paste and stir well until it's completely liquid.
You are now ready to begin dyeing! We recommend getting your mordanted fabrics wet and ringing them out until they are damp, this helps evenly distribute the dye. Once the fabric is in, slowly begin heating your water to a light simmer, about 90 degrees F for about 30 min, then increase the temperature to 180 degrees F, above a simmer but below a boil with slight steam, for another 30 min to an hour. This is where you can add modifiers, or dye assists, to further manipulate color.
Botanical Colors recommends adding chalk, or calcium carbonate at 3-5% WOF to the dye bath to deepen the color. For burgundy shades, add the chalk and leave the fabrics in the dye pot for an additional 30 minutes to an hour.
We recommend adding 5-8% WOF cream of tartar to make terracotta oranges. After dyeing, post-mordanting with iron can result in a muted purple.
The final step is to rinse the dyed fabrics and let them dry overnight. Wash using a pH neutral liquid detergent, like Dr. Bronner’s.