It is mangosteen season here in Thailand and we’ve been eating a lot of them. Before those leftover skins went to waste, Serge and I thought it would be a good idea to try dyeing with them. My experience in dyeing has been mostly to do with chemical dyes. It has only been recently that I dabbled into natural dyeing and I am becoming more and more interested in the endless different methods and possibilities that can be achieved with natural dyeing. We pre and post-mordanted swatches of linen and cotton with alum. The results were quite pleasing — gentle colours that look almost like the colours of our skin.
There happened to be a small rusty bowl in the kitchen so Serge decided to try a bit of rust dyeing. He put some water in the bowl, rolled up the post-mordanted piece and let it sit in the in the bowl for a night. The rust turned parts of the fabric that were in contact with water grey.
Following our experiment with mangosteen skins, we also dyed some fabrics with roselles which are common for making juice here in Thailand. The mordant we used was also alum. The results were shown in the picture below. The top piece was pre-mordanted linen, following by post-mordanted linen in the middle and pre-mordanted cotton at the bottom.