Sodium Tungstate Picture

Sodium tungstate can be applied in mordant.

A mordant is a substance used to set dyes on fabrics or tissue sections by forming a coordination complex with the dye which then attaches to the fabric or tissue. It may be used for dyeing fabrics, or for intensifying stains in cell or tissue preparations. The term mordant comes from the present participle of French mordre, "to bite". In the past, it was thought that a mordant helped the dye bite onto the fiber so that it would hold fast during washing. A mordant is often a polyvalent metal ion. The resulting coordination complex of dye and ion is colloidal and can be either acidic or alkaline.

Mordants include tannic acid, alum, urine, chrome alum, sodium chloride, and certain salts of aluminium, chromium, copper, iron, iodine, potassium, sodium, and tin. Iodine is often referred to as a mordant in Gram stains, but is in fact a trapping agent.