Natural Dyes
       
     
Ground Madder Root
       
     
Alum and Calcium Carbonate
       
     
Madder Dyebath
       
     
Madder Pigment
       
     
Madder Lake
       
     
Filtering the Pigment
       
     
Madder Pigment
       
     
Grinding the Pigment
       
     
The Finished Lake
       
     
Madder Lake & Madder Root
       
     
Natural Dyes
       
     
Natural Dyes

Madder pigment (left) ground madder root (right) from rubia cordofolia.

Ground Madder Root
       
     
Ground Madder Root

rubia cordofolia

Alum and Calcium Carbonate
       
     
Alum and Calcium Carbonate

Commonly used in converting natural dyes into pigments. A pigment made from a natural dye is known as a "lake".

Madder Dyebath
       
     
Madder Dyebath
Madder Pigment
       
     
Madder Pigment

The dyebath is strained to remove all the ground madder root. Alum and a base (calcium carbonate or potassium carbonate) are added. A precipitate begins to form.

Madder Lake
       
     
Madder Lake

Close up ...

Filtering the Pigment
       
     
Filtering the Pigment

A hand-pump makes the filtration go faster.

Madder Pigment
       
     
Madder Pigment

On the cloth filter.

Grinding the Pigment
       
     
Grinding the Pigment

The traditional way.

The Finished Lake
       
     
The Finished Lake
Madder Lake & Madder Root
       
     
Madder Lake & Madder Root

The finished lake on the left, the original powdered madder root on the right.