Pomegranates have been a part of love stories, wildlife and various cultures’ mythology for aeons. But when you look beyond its delicious juices and history, Pomegranate is also a powerful dye to work with.
Carpets have been dyed using Pomegranate for centuries and it lends itself surprisingly well to even the notoriously hard-to-dye cotton. This is because the high tannin content in Pomegranate makes it light and wash-fast.
the shades it holds
In India, we use Pomegranate rinds as a dye and a mordant. While dyeing without a mordant, it produces light to golden yellows, depending on how ripe the fruit is. While mordanting, adding alum gives bright yellows while using iron yields darker greens, greys and blacks.
Pomegranate can also be over-dyed with indigo to give turquoise and bluish greens. Dyeing with the seeds will give you a wheel of light reds. And for beginners, pomegranate is great for eco printing too!
from one dyer to another
Dyeing with natural colours involves letting nature take its course. The shades you get will depend on the quantity of dye, water’s composition, dyebath’s pH, mordants, type of fabric, weather conditions and your own skill. This means it’ll take some time and a lot of practice before you can create the exact colours you were hoping for.
That’s why we urge you to enjoy the process of colouring using pieces from this Earth instead of worrying about the final product. Savour the moment you hold the fabric that you coloured and all the tiny imperfections it holds.
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