This is a blog post on fabric dyeing with mangosteen. What exactly is mangosteen? Mangosteen is an exotic tropical fruit that is only can be grown in the tropics. Here is more information on mangosteen. There isn’t much on the internet written about it for the use of fabric dyeing. I only discover its properties only after eating it a few times.
The fruit is available to buy online from Asian shops mainly Asian or Thai shops. My local Chinese grocers do sell them regularly and they aren’t cheap. The price is on average £15/ kg. I only bought it as it reminds me of home and now not being able to travel I tend to treat myself to it every now and then. The fruit itself has got white flesh but it’s the skin of the fruit that yields high in tannin. A piece of great news if you are a natural dyer or printer like me.
Fabric dyeing with mangosteen
In order to dye with mangosteen one will need the skin from a few fruits. It is easy to collect a few fruits. As one eats at least a few fruits at one go. the mangosteen fruit is quite a small portion size. Put the skin in a dry pot and simmer for at least one hour till it starts to soften. I have used various fibres in this experiment. I used silk, wool, linen and tencel. As usual, silk and wool as they are protein (animal) fibres tend to yield stronger colours. I have not used any mordants in this experiment. Over time one learns that alum tends to brighten and iron tends to darken the fibres.
The end result of the nice delicate blush pink dye is just lovely. A bit like how you get with dyeing with avocado but much easier to extract the dye.