Mordants are chemicals that are used in natural dyeing to help the dye adhere to the fibers of the fabric or yarn. There are various mordants that can be used for wool yarn, including alum, copper sulfate, and iron sulfate. Here is a general guide for using mordants when naturally dyeing wool yarn:
Begin by preparing the mordant solution according to the instructions on the mordant package. You will need to mix the mordant with water, and the amount of solution you need will depend on the amount of yarn you are dyeing.
Soak the wool yarn in the mordant solution for at least an hour, or up to overnight. This will help the dye adhere to the fibers more effectively.
While the yarn is soaking, prepare the dye bath. For the desired color, you can use a variety of natural dye sources, such as plants, berries, or other materials. Chop the materials into small pieces and place them in a pot of water. Bring the water to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.
Once the yarn has finished soaking in the mordant solution, remove it and gently wring out any excess liquid.
Place the yarn in the dye bath and simmer for at least an hour, or until the desired shade is achieved. You may need to add more dye source material to the dye bath if the color is not as intense as you would like.
Once the yarn has reached the desired color, remove it from the dye bath and rinse it in cold water until the water runs clear. Gently wring out any excess water and hang the yarn to dry.
Remember to always use caution when working with chemicals and hot liquids. It is also a good idea to wear gloves and protective eyewear to avoid any accidents.