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Re: Wool Mops & etc.
>>>As a spinner myself who's done some dyeing (natural and otherwise), ...<<<
It's amazing what you learn about folks on this list. I've tried natural dying myself at Boy Scout summer camp. There are some pretty nasty mordants and dyes. I stayed away from the tin and other metallic mordants as I had the boys working with the materials and no way to properly dispose of the used materials. I used alum (alum acetate mostly but have also used alum sulfate) for the modant. I don't think that's too toxic if there were traces left in the yarn unbound to the dye stuff molecules. Some of the natural dyes may effect tank chemistry as they leach out. I would consider using Black Walnut hulls to dye the yarn brown. If the dye does slowly leach out, it may end up softening the water and lowering pH. But I must caution that this is pure guess as I have no clue what the active dye chemical is in Black Walnut, but am assuming that it may contain tannins. Another one I would test is ripe Sumac berries for a reddish brown color. Rusty nails in the dye pot will darken many dyes as the free iron molecules bind with the dye molecules.
Best yet, I'd stuck with the synthetic yarn. It's a lot easier and safer. Plus I don't know if I'd want to "waste" handspun and dyed yarn in a fish tank after going through al of the work and effort to manufacture it!
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