Gallnut Powder is derived from Oak Galls which are produced by Oak trees as a defence against insects which deposit their eggs in small punctures they make on young branches. The tree excretes a tannin rich gum which hardens and becomes gallnuts. This is the earliest source for natural tannin and is a colourless powder used to mordant cellulose before adding Alum. This helps the Alum bond with the fibre. Use at 6 to 8% WOF. Myrobalan Extract can also be used as a substitute for Gallnut or Tannic Acid.
Before 1856, Natural dyes were used in time honoured techniques (as far back as 1500BC) but once synthetic dyes were invented in 1856, textile dyers and artisans moved from traditional natural dyes to synthetic dyes to colour their cloth and fibre.
They will dye any natural fibre using a handful of non-toxic mordants and additives to help fix the dye and also give you more colour variations. Natural dyeing is very much about reconnecting with the past - apart from using the plant materials you have at hand in your own garden, there are a number of traditional Natural Dyes and extracts including Indigo, Madder, Cochineal and Fustic.
By combining different dyes, mordants and depths of shade, you will produce an amazing palette of deep to subtle pastel colours. We hope you enjoy your Natural Dyeing adventure!