This week I was inspire by a linen paper I wrote for textiles class. I have been wearing linen for years and its one of my favorite fabric, yet I was surprised how little I knew about the textile. This is a little bit I learned about linen…. To be able to dye linen, you need to boil the fibers while adding ammonia; this will increase the PH which will improve the absorbent levels. Fun fact, before ammonia was readily available people had to use stale urine as a substitute. After the fiber’s PH level increases it than has to go through the mordant process, metallic salts and chemicals added to the fibers making them able to easily absorb pigments. Natural dyes don’t work well with linen, the pigments will only attach to the outer layer of the fibers due to the way its bind. Numerous people buy linen due to the fact it is natural, the dying stage adds more unneeded chemicals to the process.
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