Iron (ferrous sulphate)

Color Changer-Shifts to Darker Hue

Use only .5%-1% WOG.

Extract Preparation

Combine iron with boiling water. Let stand 2 minutes. Strain into dyepot.
As a color changer, in a dye pot used for iron dips, use only 1-2% WOG for cellulose fibers, and .5% -1% WOG for protein fibers. Overuse of iron solution or prolonged exposure to the iron liqueur may permanently change the ‘hand’ of the fiber.

Strain your iron solution slowly into the dye pot, especially if you have hard water (iron content already included free of charge in some regions). Learn what level of iron works with your water. (Some artists use a cast iron pot, and others keep rusting nails in their dye pot. This works, yet is not a repeatable recipe.)

Consider keeping a dye pot with a lid dedicated to iron, as well as the stir sticks, brushes and mixing containers used in the iron process. Label everything that is dedicated to iron use. Iron is very active, and will easily transfer from a stir stick or brush to an unintended destination.
Using iron is an amazing adventure in changing colors. Iron may be used:

  • As a dip into the iron dyepot
  • Added into a dyepot
  • Applied by brush in solution
  • Mixed with gum tragacanth and applied by brush, with a stamp, with a silkscreen or thermal image screen for fabric surface design
  • Applied to Arashi Shibori, fold and clamp, and other mechanical resist methods to create design on fabrics

To make a cup full of iron with gum tragacanth, place 1 teaspoon iron in the cup and add about 2 tablespoons boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Let cool, and add in 7 ounces prepared gum tragacanth (see recipe gum tragacanth page), whisking to mix completely. Wet your brush in advance, blot dry and dip brush into iron mixture. Apply.