Adding some spice to my kitchen** dyeing, Turmeric powderI tried out turmeric. They say that there’s health benefits to turmeric…but I can say for sure there are dye benefits.  And, it smells wonderful.  Like standing over a pot of wonderful Thai soup/green curry! (**By kitchen dyeing, I mean dyeing with foodstuffs, not dyeing in my kitchen.)

I started with the powder and got an expected yellow…wonderful and rich. I Turmeric printingimmersed cotton Turmeric on wooland wool. And, I printed using an alum mordant on cotton.

It’s cold and snowy here, so I’m really excited by my results. I know, I know…it’s a variant on backyard yellow….but it’s wonderful and gold!

Turmeric high ph

For fun, I added some soda ash to increase the ph. And, now I’m beyond excited…I’m dancing. Check out that wonderful orange. WOWSER!!  If you add acid, then you get back to gold. Protein + turmeric = gold. (Irregardless of the ph.)  Cellulose + turmeric = gold (lower ph) or orange (high ph) depending on the ph.

So, now I try to print…Turmeric printingimagining that orange for images. Nice colors not so orange. But a strong background color.

So, is all that mordanting necessary? Apparently not!

Turmeric shiboriHere’s some shibori folding…one is on alum mordanted fabric and the other is plain fabric. The fabric was folded and then dipped in high-ph turmeric. Not much difference. The one on the left was mordanted and it’s a bit more orange. But there’s nice color on the unmordanted fabric. Making turmeric a substantive dye.


2 thoughts on “Turmeric

  1. Isn’t turmeric wonderful!?
    I’ve been dyeing with it for years, even though people are always warning me about it’s fugitive nature….. and to be perfectly honest, I have not noticed it being any less permanent then any other natural dye that I use!
    It’s such a wonderful yellow…. and now, after reading your bit about changing the Ph, I’ll have to see what other shades I can coax out of it. Thanks! 🙂

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