An extract or a powder from the rinds of pomegranates Punica granatum, this dyestuff is high in tannin and improves the light and wash-fastness of any dye with which it is mixed. In India and south east Asia it is used as both a dye and a mordant. Pomegranate yields soft yellows to green-yellows when used at 5-8% WOF for the extract (15 - 20% WOF for the powder) for a medium depth of shade. When combined with iron, pomegranate yields cement greys and deep moss greens. It is often mixed with the more turmeric dye to brighten the yellow and make it lightfast. Mordant with Alum at 15% WOF for protein and cellulose (there's enough tannin Pomegranate without adding more).
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!