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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

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Abstract Volume 14 Issue 1 (2009) pp 23-25

Dyeing Fabrics Using Anthocyanins Isolated from Red Cabbage

Daniel D. Henderson and Christine H. Jaworek-Lopes*

Emmanuel College, 400 The Fenway, Boston, MA 02115,
Received July 14, 2008. Accepted December 1, 2008.

Published online: 2 February 2009

Abstract. Aqueous extracts of red cabbage are used to dye multi-fiber ribbon. Varying the pH of the stock indicator solution with either household vinegar or baking soda results in fabrics that range from purple to pink to green. Household chemicals such as alum or cream of tartar may be used as mordants resulting in different colored fabrics. Use of the multi-fiber ribbon allows one to easily discuss the interaction of dyes with different fabric types. This experiment is especially suitable for nonscience majors.

Key Words: Laboratories and Demonstrations; general chemistry; nonmajor laboratories; anthocyanins; dyes; indicators

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

Article in PDF format (130 KB) HTML format

Issue date: February 2, 2009

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