Cream of Tartar

Cream of Tartar

Cream of Tartar

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Category: Dyeing

Cream of Tartar (COT) is a white powder often used in baking to help stabilize meringue. It is a byproduct from the sediment left behind in winemaking – another use for a waste product!

In natural dyeing, we use cream of tartar to acidify the dye bath to act as a color changer. It’s also used in mordanting to soften wool fibers. As well, I’ve read that it helps aluminum sulfate bind more strongly to the fibers. Depending on the dye, it will shift cochineal, madder and lac to brighter, redder colors. With madder, it will shift the hue to orange and with cochineal the color will become a bright red. It can inhibit the color development in logwoods and certain tannins, so it is rarely used with these dyes.

We can also use cream of tartar as an adjunct to mordanting wool. Its purpose is to assist the alum to bond with the wool and it also keeps wool fibers soft. Bear in mind that it will shift colors, and in some cases, can inhibit the development of certain shades.


We use USPS for most of our shipping and currently ship to US addresses only.

Physical items will contribute to the dollar amount needed for free shipping (currently $100).

Bulky and odd-shaped items will always incur shipping charges.

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