Originally Posted by Nosu3
these look great, very nice tones in color. I wonder if the dye is retained through repeated washings or if they fade due to the type of dyeing process?
This is something I know about. Without knowing the details of what they did as far as premordanting and mordanting the fabric before they dyed the shirts it is hard to say just how colorfast they are. My guess is they followed a typical recipe and process. Anyway natural dyes are nowhere near as colorfast as the more common chemical dyes used today.
If you want to retain the color for as long as possible you hand wash these with a bit of woolite and hang dry them. If you do this you will get awesome fades. If you want to accelerate the process machine wash them cold on a gentle/delicate cycle with a bit of woolite and then hang dry them. You get the idea.
Under no circumstance use anything with bleach in it. You will kill the shirt very quickly if you do. Another fallacy is using vinegar to set the color. DO NOT ever do this. Acids and bases are used to shift the color of natural dyes along with what's used in the mordanting stage. For instance I use Logwood to get a nice purple color. The dye is pH sensitive. If I shift the pH to the acid side I'll get a red earthtone.
From what I've seen of these shirts my guess as to what they used to dye them would be Logwood, Brazilwood, and Fustic or Osage Orange wood. The mordant may be simple or it could be a complex blend of alum, tin and iron mordants. There's more than one way to skin a cat using natural dyes to get a certain color.
This isn't the last time you'll see small lot naturally dyed shirts either. I'm 6 months into product testing and in a month or so a collab will be launched here with someone you all know.