Magnificent Manggis ( Mangosteen )

Did you know that every plant has its own color pigment. Pigments are responsible in every color we see on the plants around us. Beside plants, colors can be extracted from other sources including tree barks, fruit's skin, insects/bug as well as seeds.

Mangosteen grows very well in tropical climate especially in Malaysia and the season has ended couple of months back. I took the opportunity to enjoy the fruit season and not forgetting, collecting the skin for color extracting purpose.

As all natural dyers aware, Its common to all natural dyers to encounter different color swatches and each process done by dyers varies to the quantity of the fruits and quality of it.

And most of the item I use for extracting pigments come from my garden, neighbourhood area as well as contribution from my friends. Making this mangosteen dye pot took at least 2 kilos (kg) of fruit skin and extracting the color pigment can happen in many ways. One of it is pre-boiling the water together with the fruit skin.

Once the color pigment has been fully extracted, you are basically ready to dip and dye your fabric.

By adding vinegar into the dye pot, it helped change the original color. Vinegar is acid based. So when a color mixed with alkali or acid based, it will become a change agent to the color pigment.

For this particular experiment, I'd like to keep my process as simple as i can. I like to see the original dye made out of mangosteen skin and test its color-fastness.

Before getting excited to dip the fabric, I had to pre-wash (scour) the fabric to make sure the fabric is 100% clean from grease, dust, dirt and other impurities from the surface of fibers.

The next step is to mordant (fix) the fiber with soya milk for at least 5-8 hours. This process helps the fabric 'bind' with the dye. In a nutshell, locking the color and make it stays on the fabric.

Here's some of color variation came out from the mangosteen. I love the soft pastel look and it compliment the rest of all color swatches in my collection.

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