Calcium Acetate

Calcium Acetate is the queen of acetates. It can be used to make the prized aluminum acetate (the superior mordant for natural dyes on cellulose fibers). To do this: dissolve 400g alum (aluminum sulfate) into 4 liters of hot water. Stir to dissolve. When cool add 30g powdered chalk (calcium carbonate). Dissolve 150g calcium acetate into 1 liter of cool water. Stir to dissolve. Add this liquid to the alum-chalk liquid and stir. In 30 minutes decant the clear liquid. To this decanted liquid add another 4 liters of cool water. This is now aluminum acetate and can be used to mordant cellulose fiber at room temperature. It can be used on its own or in combination with tannin. Use enough of this liquid to fully cover fabric being mordanted. Soak for 2-3 hours, squeeze out and dry slowly. Calcium Acetate can also be used to adjust the acidity of a dye bath.