This is the VOA Special English Development Report.
can bring a little color to life. Most clothing is colored with dyes. Modern,
manufactured dyes can be costly. Natural dyes from plant and animal products
have been used since ancient times. So this week, we describe a natural way to
advice comes from information written by Jenny Dean of the Intermediate
Technology Development Group in Britain.
This anti-poverty group is now called Practical Action.
are several methods to put dye onto material. The vat method, for example, can
be used to dye wool with onionskins. For this example, use one hundred grams of
natural wool. The wool must be clean. Leave it overnight in water and liquid
soap. Then wash it with clean water that is a little warm. Gently squeeze out
the extra water.
solution called a mordant is used in the dying process. A mordant helps fix the
dye to the material. Traditionally, mordants were found in nature. Wood ash is
one example. But chemical mordants such as alum are popular today. Alum is sold
in many stores. It is often mixed with cream of tartar, a fine powder commonly
used in cooking.
eight grams of alum with seven grams of cream of tartar in a small amount of
hot water. Add the solution to a metal pan of cool water. Next, add the wool
and place the mixture over heat. Slowly bring the liquid to eighty-two degrees
Celsius. Heat the mixture for forty-five minutes. After it cools, remove the
wool and wash it.
prepare the dye solution, cover thirty grams of onionskins with water. Use only
the dry, brown outer skins. Boil the liquid until the onionskins lose their
color, about forty-five minutes,. Remove the skins after the dye cools.
Now it is time to dye the wool. Place
the wool into the dye and heat the mixture. Bring it to a boil, then immediately
reduce the heat to eighty-two degrees. Now heat the dye for about forty-five
minutes or until the wool is the desired color. Keep in mind that wet wool
looks darker than it is.
the dye cools, remove the wool and wash it. Now the wool is orange or yellow.
Or at least it should be.
Internet users can get the full details
at practicalaction, one word, dot o-r-g. Again, the address is practicalaction
dot org. And enter the word "dye," d-y-e, in the search box. We will
post a link to the site at voaspecialenglish.com.
that's the VOA Special English Development Report, written by Jill Moss. I'm