that was interesting. Needed to coffee dye some muslin today, so still being a bit pissy ’bout the washing machine dying, put the pot of hot water on, brewed a pot of extra strong coffee, tossed some cream of tartar and alum into the hot water, then coffee, added a small amount of turmeric for colour boost, knotted the fabric, stuffed it in, let it soak for 30 minutes. Then, I took it into the bathroom where the wash basin awaited in the tub, started rinsing all the excess dye out. So far, fine, a nice, bland, nut brown colour. Business as usual. Then I added washing detergent, and it looked like my life blood was pouring into the basin. Okaaaaaaaaaaay. Well, at least it looks nice.



5 thoughts on “Well…

  1. I was curious, why, so I did some googling and it seems that curcumin in turmeric turns red in alkaline enough conditions (and reverts back to yellow in neutral or acidic). I guess one rarely sees the reaction as alkaline foods aren’t very common and I’ve never heard anyone put curry powder or turmeric on, say, lutefish.

  2. Oh, no, lutefish doesn’t need help in the awful department. I’ve used turmeric to dye muslin before, and it’s never done this – it was weird as hell to see bright red appearing the moment I added the detergent. That’s really interesting though, thanks! Maybe it was the cream of tartar / alum concentration which changed things – the detergent was the same I always use.

  3. You’re welcome. Maybe, I could be wrong, you had a bit less of either alum or cream of tartar than usually.

  4. I guess less dramatic looking events have initiated religious movements in the past…

  5. Actually, I think I did have less this time around – I used up the last I had, just a bit in each little jar. I’ll have to fuck around and experiment now – good thing muslin is cheap! Oh gods, yeah, think of someone going the stigmata route, “the blood of the lamb showed up in my washing basin! It did!”

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