Titanium oxalate is an interesting mordant to use, as you will get different shades than if you had used alum. For example you will get orange shades with tannins and yellow dyes. Titanium oxalate also increases light and wash fastness.
Titanium oxalate is a very fine powder so wear a good dust mask when using it.
- 100 grams of fibre - 5 to 15 grams of titanium oxalate
1. Dissolve the titanium oxalate in a small container with warm water. 2. Add it to a saucepan with water and then add your fibres. 3. Heat slowly up to 80-90°C for 45 min while regularly stirring the fibre. 4. Let the fibres cool in the saucepan. 5. Rinse once or twice at room temperature.
Differences between alum and titanium oxalate a) Strong reaction to tannin: Titanium oxalate will give you orange shades with tannins (e.g. gallnut extract) and yellow dyes (e.g. weld extract). This is of particular interest to dyers who do botanical prints. Leaves which are full of tannin will come out more orange/yellow than if alum or aluminium acetate was used.
b) Different shades: titanium oxalate will provide different shades with other natural dyes (madder, cochineal, logwood etc), which makes it a great mordant for experimenting.
c) Increased light fastness: titanium is a little more light fast than alum. On a scale of 1 to 8, where 1 is not fast and 8 is very fast, titanium increases the fastness by ½ a degree.
d) Matt: titanium oxalate may provide more matt colours, while the alum may provide brighter colours.
Notes: - Titanium oxalate is a new mordant for us, and we are still experimenting with quantities and techniques. However, our supplier has advised us that for cotton and other cellulose fibres it is better dye with a natural dye extract first and then to mordant with the titanium oxalate.
- Titanium oxalate can also be used for as a mordant for protein fibers (silk and wool). Mordant with the titanium oxalate first and then dye with the natural dye extract. Use same proportions as for cotton, 5 to 15 grams of titanium oxalate per 100 grams of fibre.