As the art and passion for natural dyeing increases, we all favour striving for an eco-friendly approach to our hobbies and interests. Alum is a widely used and accepted aluminium based mordant particularly desirable for mordanting protein originated fibres such as wool and silk, prior to the use of natural dyes.
However, has anyone heard of a purely plant based mordant containing Alum? This is where we introduce Symplocos which is a plant that grows in parts of Indonesia. As it grows, the leaves are known to accumulate natural aluminium from the soil, and fallen leaves are known to have the highest levels at more than 3% by weight. These leaves are collected by local women in Indonesia, and then dried before refining into Symplocos powder. Symplocos was traditionally used as a natural mordant for natural red dye processes in Indonesia. By using natural plant based mordants such as Symplocos, we are helping make use of a plant bi-product, but more importantly helping support the livelihoods of the local communities who harvest and process Symplocos for wider use.
We welcome all of our customers to visit our site under natural plant dyes and give Symplocos a try. We will include full instructions with every pack purchased as using Symplocos does require some experimentation.