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Title: Vegetable Dyes - Being a Book of Recipes and Other Information Useful to the Dyer
Author: Mairet, Ethel M.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Being a Book of Recipes and Other
Information Useful to the Dyer



Faber and Faber Ltd
24 Russell Square

First published in Mcmxvi
by the Ditchling Press
Reprinted, for the sixth time April Mcmxxxviii
and published by Faber and Faber Limited
24 Russell Square, London
Printed at the Ditchling Press, Ditchling
All rights reserved


CHAPTER                                                     PAGE

I.     Wool, Silk, Cotton and Linen                           1

II.    Mordants                                               6

III.   British Dye Plants                                    11

IV.    The Lichen Dyes                                       16

V.     Blue                                                  24

VI.    Red                                                   31

VII.   Yellow                                                35

VIII.  Brown and Black                                       40

IX.    Green                                                 43

X.     The Dyeing of Cotton                                  46

XI.    The Dyeing of Silk                                    56

       Glossary                                              60

       Bibliography                                          63

       Index                                                 65



WOOLS are of various kinds:--

_Highland, Welsh and Irish_ wools are from small sheep, not far
removed from the wild state, with irregular short stapled fleeces.

_Forest or Mountain sheep_ (Herdwick, Exmoor, Cheviot, Blackfaced,
Limestone) have better wool, especially the Cheviot, which is very
thick and good for milling.

_Ancient Upland_, such as South Down, are smaller sheep than the last
named, but the wool is softer and finer.

_Long Woolled sheep_, (Lincolns, Leicester) with long staple wool
(record length, 36".) and fleeces weighing up to 12 lbs. The Leicester
fleece is softer, finer and better than Lincoln.

To the end of the 18th century _Spanish wool_ was the finest and best
wool in the world. Spanish sheep have since been introduced into
various countries, such as Saxony, Australia, Cape Colony, New
Zealand; and some of the best wools now come from the Colonies.

_Alpaca, Vicuna and Llama_ wools are from different species of
American goats.

_Mohair_ from the Angora goat of Asia Minor.

_Kashmir Wool_ from the Thibetan goat.

_Camel_ hair, the soft under wool of the camel, which is shed

The colour of wool varies from white to a very dark brown black, with
all shades of fawn, grey and brown in between. The natural colours are
not absolutely fast to light but tend to bleach slightly with the sun.

The principal fleeces are:

_Lambs_, 3 to 6 months growth, the finest, softest and most elastic

_Hogs and Tegs_: the first shearing of sheep that have not been shorn
as lambs.

_Wethers_: all clips succeeding the first shearing.

Wool comes into the market in the following condition. 1. _In the
grease_, not having been washed and containing all the impurities. 2.
_Washed_, with some of the grease removed and fairly clean. 3.
_Scoured_, thoroughly cleaned and all grease removed.

Wool can be dyed either in the fleece, in the yarn, or in the woven
cloth. Raw wool always contains a certain amount of natural grease.
This should not be washed out until it is ready for dyeing, as the
grease keeps the moth out to a considerable extent. Hand spun wool is
generally spun in the oil to facilitate spinning. All grease and oil
must be scoured out before dyeing is begun, and this must be done very
thoroughly or the wool will not take the colour.


A constant supply of clean soft water is an absolute necessity for the
dyer. Rain water should be collected as much as possible, as this is
the best water to use. The dye house should be by a river or stream,
so that the dyer can wash with a continuous supply. Spring and well
water is, as a rule, hard, and should be avoided. In washing, as well
as in dyeing, hard water is injurious for wool. It ruins the
brilliancy of the colour, and prevents the dyeing of some colours.
Temporary hardness can be overcome by boiling the water (20 to 30
minutes) before using. An old method of purifying water, which is
still used by some silk and wool scourers, is to boil the water with a
little soap, skimming off the surface as it boils. In many cases it is
sufficient to add a little acetic acid to the water.


In a bath containing 10 gallons of warm water add 4 fluid ounces of
ammonia fort, .880, 1 lb. soda, and 2 oz. soft soap, (potash soap).
Stir well until all is dissolved. Dip the wool in and leave for 2
minutes, then squeeze gently and wash in warm water until quite clear.

_Or_ to 10 gallons of water add 6 oz. ammonia and 3 oz. soft soap. The
water should never be above 140°F. and all the washing water should be
of about the same temperature.

Fleece may be washed in the same way, but great care should be taken
not to felt the wool--the less squeezing the better.

There are four principal methods of dyeing wool.

1st.--The wool is boiled first with the mordant and then in a fresh
bath with the dye.

2nd.--The wool is boiled first with the dye, and when it has absorbed
as much of the colour as possible the mordant is added to the same
bath, thus fixing the colour.

A separate bath can be used for each of these processes, in which case
each bath can be replenished and used again for a fresh lot of wool.

3rd.--The wool is boiled with the mordant and dye in the same bath
together. The colour, as a rule, is not so fast and good as with a
separate bath, though with some dyes a brighter colour is obtained.

4th.--The wool is mordanted, then dyed, then mordanted again. This
method is adopted to ensure an extremely fast colour. The mordant
should be used rather sparingly.


There are two kinds of silk (1) _raw silk_ (reeled silk, thrown silk,
drawn silk), and (2) _waste silk_ or spun silk.

Raw silk is that directly taken from the cocoons. Waste silk is the
silk from cocoons that are damaged in some way so that they cannot be
reeled off direct. It is, therefore, carded and spun, like wool or

Silk in the raw state is covered with a silk gum which must be boiled
off before dyeing is begun. It is tied up in canvas bags and boiled up
in a strong solution of soap for three or four hours until all the gum
is boiled off. If it is a yellow gum, the silk is wrought first in a
solution of soft soap at a temperature just below boiling point for
about an hour, then put into bags and boiled. After boiling, the soap
is well washed out.

Generally speaking, the affinity of silk for dyes is similar but
weaker in character to that of wool. The general method for dyeing is
the same as for wool, except, in most cases, lower temperatures are
used in the mordanting. In some cases, soaking in a cold concentrated
solution of the mordant is sufficient. The dyeing of some colours is
also at low temperature.


Cotton is the down surrounding the seeds in pods of certain shrubs and
trees growing in tropical and semi-tropical countries. First
introduced into Europe by the Saracens, it was manufactured into cloth
in Spain in the early 13th century. Cotton cloth was first made in
England in the early 17th century.

The colour of cotton varies from deep yellow to white. The fibre
differs in length, the long stapled being the most valued. It is
difficult to dye and requires a special preparation.

A few of the natural dye stuffs are capable of dyeing cotton direct,
without a mordant, such as Turmeric, Barberry bark, safflower,
annatto. For other dyes cotton has a special attraction, such as


Linen is flax, derived from the decomposed stalks of a plant of the
genus Linum.

It grows chiefly in Russia, Belgium, France, Holland and Ireland. The
plants after being gathered are subjected to a process called
"retting" which separates the fibre from the decaying part of the
plant. In Ireland and Russia this is usually done in stagnant water,
producing a dark coloured flax. In Belgium, Holland, and France,
retting is carried out in running water, and the resulting flax is a
lighter colour. Linen is more difficult to dye than cotton, probably
on account of the hard nature of the fibre. The same processes are
used for dyeing linen as for cotton.

_To Bleach Linen_--(For 13 to 15 yards linen). Boil 1/2 lb. soap and
1/2 lb. soda in a gallon of water. Put it in a copper and fill up with
water, leaving room for the linen to be put in. Put in the linen and
bring to the boil. Boil for 2 hours, keeping it under the water and
covered. Stir occasionally. Then spread out on the grass for 3 days,
watering it when it gets dry. Repeat this boiling and grassing 3
weeks. The linen is then pure white.

_To bleach linen a cream colour_--Boil 1/2 lb. soap and 1/2 lb. soda
in a gallon of water. Fill copper up with water and put in linen. Boil
for 2 hours. Repeat this once a day for 4 days. The linen should not
be wrung out but kept in the water till ready to be put into the fresh



Any dye belongs to one of two classes. _Substantive_, giving colouring
directly to the material: and _adjective_, which includes the greater
number of dyes and requires the use of a mordant to bring out the

There are thus two processes concerned with the dyeing of most
colours; the first is mordanting and the second is the colouring or
actual dyeing. The mordanting prepares the stuff to receive the dye
(_mordere_, _to bite_).

The early French dyers thought that a mordant had the effect of
opening the pores of the fibre, so that the dye could more easily
enter; but according to Hummel, and later dyers, the action of the
mordant is purely chemical; and he gives a definition of a mordant as
"the body, whatever it may be, which is fixed on the fibre in
combination with any given colouring matter." The mordant is first
precipitated on to the fibre and combines with the colouring matter in
the subsequent dye bath. But, whether the action is chemical or merely
physical, the fact remains that all adjective dyes need this
preparation of the fibre before they will fix themselves on it. The
use of a mordant, though not a necessity, is sometimes an advantage
when using substantive dyes.

In early days the leaves and roots of certain plants were used. This
is the case even now in India and other places where primitive dyeing
methods are still carried on. Alum has been known for centuries in
Europe. Iron and tin filings have also been used. Alum and copperas
have been known in the Highlands long ages.

_Mordants_ should not affect the physical characteristics of the
fibres. Sufficient time must be allowed for the mordant to penetrate
the fibre thoroughly. If the mordant is only superficial, the dye will
be uneven: it will fade and will not be as brilliant as it should be.
The brilliancy and fastness of Eastern dyes are probably due to a
great extent to the length of time taken over the various processes of
dyeing. _The longer time that can be given to each process, the more
satisfactory will be the result._

Different mordants give different colours with the same dye stuff. For
example:--Cochineal, if mordanted with alum, will give a crimson
colour; with iron, purple; with tin, scarlet; and with chrome or
copper, purple. Logwood, also, if mordanted with alum, gives a mauve
colour; if mordanted with chrome, it gives a blue. Fustic, weld, and
most of the yellow dyes, give a greeny yellow with alum, but an old
gold colour with chrome; and fawns of various shades with other

Silk and wool require very much the same preparation except that in
the case of silk, high temperatures should be avoided. Wool is
generally boiled in a weak solution of whatever mordant is used. With
silk, as a rule, it is better to use a cold solution, or a solution at
a temperature below boiling point. Cotton and linen are more difficult
to dye than wool or silk. Their fibre is not so porous and will not
hold the dye stuff without a more complicated preparation. The usual
method of preparing linen or cotton is to boil it first with some
astringent. The use of astringents in dyeing depends upon the tannic
acid they contain. In combination with ordinary mordants, tannic acid
aids the attraction of the colouring matter to the fibre and adds
brilliancy to the colours. The astringents mostly used are tannic
acid, gall nuts, sumach and myrobalams. Cotton has a natural
attraction for tannic acid, so that when once steeped in its solution
it is not easily removed by washing.


This is the most generally used of all the mordants, and has been
known as such from early times in many parts of the world. For most
colours a certain proportion of cream of tartar should be added to the
alum bath as it helps to brighten the ultimate colour. The usual
amount of alum is a quarter of a pound to a pound of wool. As a rule,
less mordant is needed for light colours than for dark. Excess of alum
is apt to make the wool sticky. The usual length of time for boiling
is about an hour. Some dyers give as much as 2-1/2 hours.

_Example of mordanting with alum_--1/4 lb. of Alum and 1 oz. cream of
tartar for every pound of wool. This is dissolved and when the water
is warm the wool is entered. Raise to boiling point and boil for one
hour. The bath is then taken off the fire and allowed to cool over
night. The wool is then wrung out (not washed) and put away in a linen
bag in a cool place for 4 or 5 days, when it is ready for dyeing,
after being thoroughly washed.


(_Ferrous Sulphate, copperas, green vitriol._)

Iron is one of the oldest mordants known and is largely used in wool
and cotton dyeing. It is almost as important as alum. The temperature
of the mordanting bath must be raised very gradually to boiling point
or the wool will dye unevenly. A general method of dealing with
copperas is to boil the wool first in a decoction of the colouring
matter and then add the mordant to the same bath in a proportion of 5
to 8 per cent of the weight of the wool, and continue boiling for half
an hour or so longer. With some dyes a separate bath is needed, such
as with Camwood or Catechu. Great care is needed in the using of
copperas, as, unless it is thoroughly dissolved and mixed with the
water before the wool is entered, it is apt to stain the wool. It also
hardens wool if used in excess or if boiled too long. A separate bath
should always be kept for dyes or mordants containing iron. The least
trace of it will dull colours and it will spoil the brilliancy of
reds, yellows and oranges.

Copperas is mostly used for the fixing of wool colours (Fustic, etc.)
to produce brown shades; the wool being boiled first in a decoction of
the dye for about 1 hour, and then for 1/2 an hour with the addition
of 5 to 8 per cent of copperas. If used for darkening colours,
copperas is added to the bath after the dyeing, and the boiling
continued for 15 to 20 mins.


(_Stannous chloride, tin crystals, tin salts, muriate of tin._)

Tin is not so useful as a mordant in itself, but as a modifying agent
with other mordants. It must always be used with great care, as it
tends to harden the wool, making it harsh and brittle. Its general
effect is to give brighter, clearer and faster colours than the other
mordants. When used as a mordant before dyeing, the wool is entered
into the _cold_ mordant bath, containing 4 per cent of stannous
chloride and 2 per cent oxalic acid; the temperature is gradually
raised to boiling, and kept at this temperature for 1 hour. It is
sometimes added to the dye bath towards the end of dyeing, to
intensify and brighten the colour. It is also used with cochineal for
scarlet on wool in the one bath method.


(_Potassium dichromate. Bichromate of Potash._)

Chrome is a modern mordant, unknown to the dyer of fifty years ago. It
is excellent for wool and is easy to use and very effective in its
action. Its great advantage is that it leaves the wool soft to the
touch, whereas the other mordants are apt to harden the wool. The wool
should be boiled for 1 to 1-1/2 hours with bichromate of potash in the
proportion of 2 to 4 per cent of the wool. It is then washed well and
immediately dyed. Wool mordanted with chrome should not be exposed to
light, but should be kept well covered with the liquid while being
mordanted, else it is liable to dye unevenly. An excess of chrome
impairs the colour, 3 per cent of chrome is a safe quantity to use for
ordinary dyeing. It should be dissolved in the bath while the water is
heating. The wool is entered and the bath gradually raised to the
boiling point, and boiled for 3/4 of an hour.


(_Copper Sulphate, Verdigris, Blue Vitriol, Blue Copperas,

Copper is rarely used as a mordant. It is usually applied as a
saddening agent, that is, the wool is dyed first, and the mordant
applied afterwards to fix the colour. With _cream of tartar_ it is
used sometimes as an ordinary mordant before dyeing, but the colours
so produced have no advantage over colours mordanted by easier



On the introduction of foreign dye woods and other dyes during the
17th and 18th centuries, the native dye plants were rapidly displaced,
except in some out of the way places such as the Highlands and parts
of Ireland. Some of these British dye plants had been used from early
historical times for dyeing. Some few are still in use in commercial
dye work (pear, sloe, and a few others); but their disuse was
practically completed during the 19th century, when the chemical dyes
ousted them from the market.

The majority of these plants are not very important as dyes, and could
not probably now be collected in sufficient quantities. Some few,
however, are important, such as woad, weld, heather, walnut, alder,
oak, some lichens; and many of the less important ones would produce
valuable colours if experiments were made with the right mordants.
Those which have been in use in the Highlands are most of them good
dyes. Among these are Ladies Bedstraw, whortleberry, yellow iris,
bracken, bramble, meadow sweet, alder, heather and many others. The
yellow dyes are most plentiful and many of these are good fast
colours. Practically no good red, in quantity, is obtainable. Madder
is the only reliable red dye among plants, and that is no longer
indigenous in England. Most of the dye plants require a preparation of
the material to be dyed, with alum, or some other mordant, but a few,
such as Barbary and some of the lichens, are substantive dyes, and
require no mordant.


     Birch. _Betula alba._ Fresh inner bark.

     Bed-straw. _Gallium boreale._ Roots.

     Common Sorrel. _Rumex acetosa._ Roots.

     Dyer's Woodruff. _Asperula tinctoria._ Roots.

     Evergreen Alkanet. _Anchusa sempervirens._

     Gromwell. _Lithospermum arvense._

     Lady's Bedstraw. _Gallium verum._ Roots.

     Marsh Potentil. _Potentilla Comarum._ Roots.

     Potentil. _Potentilla Tormentilla._ Roots.

     Wild Madder. _Rubia peregrina._


     Devil's Bit. _Scabiosa succisa._ Leaves prepared like woad.

     Dog's Mercury. _Mercurialis perennis._

     Elder. _Sambucus nigra._ Berries.

     Privet. _Ligustrum vulgare._ Berries with alum and salt.

     Red bearberry. _Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi._

     Sloe.[A] _Prunus communis._ Fruit.

     Whortleberry or Blaeberry. _Vaccinium Myrtillus._ Berries.

     Woad. _Isatis tinctoria._

     Yellow Iris. _Iris Pseudacorus._ Roots.


     Agrimony. _Agrimonia Eupatoria._

     Ash. _Fraxinus excelsior._ Fresh inner bark.

     Barberry. _Berberis vulgaris._ Stem and root.

     Birch. Leaves.

     Bog Asphodel. _Narthecium ossifragum._

     Bog Myrtle or Sweet Gale. _Myrica Gale._

     Bracken. _Pteris aquilina._ Roots. Also young tops.

     Bramble. _Rubus fructicosus._

     Broom. _Sarothammus Scoparius._

     Buckthorn. _Rhamnus frangula_ and _R. cathartica._ Berries
     and Bark.

     Common dock. _Rumex obtusifolius._ Root.

     Crab Apple. _Pyrus Malus._ Fresh inner bark.

     Dyer's Greenwood. _Genista tinctoria._ Young shoots and

     Gorse. _Ulex Europæus._ Bark, flowers and young shoots.

     Heath. _Erica vulgaris._ With Alum.

     Hedge stachys. _Stachys palustris._

     Hop. _Humulus lupulus._

     Hornbeam. _Carpinus Betulus._ Bark.

     Kidney Vetch. _Anthyllis Vulnararia._

     Ling. _Caluna vulgaris._

     Marsh Marigold. _Caltha palustris._

     Marsh potentil. _Potentilla Comarum._

     Meadow Rue. _Thalictrum flavum._

     Nettle. _Urtica._ With Alum.

     Pear. Leaves.

     Plum.   "

     Polygonum Hydropiper.

     Polygonum Persecaria.

     Poplar. Leaves.

     Privet. _Ligustrum vulgare._ Leaves.

     S. John's Wort. _Hypericum perforatum._

     Sawwort.[B] _Serratula tinctoria._

     Spindle tree. _Euonymus Europæus._

     Stinking Willy, or Ragweed. _Senecio Jacobæa._

     Sundew. _Drosera._

     Teasel. _Dipsacus Sylvestris._

     Way-faring tree. _Viburnum lantana._ Leaves.

     Weld. _Reseda luteola._

     Willow.[C] Leaves.

     Yellow Camomile. _Anthemis tinctoria._

     Yellow Centaury. _Chlora perfoliata._

     Yellow Corydal. _Corydalis lutea._


     Elder. _Sambucus nigra._ Leaves with alum.

     Flowering reed. _Phragmites communis._ Flowering tops, with

     Larch. Bark, with alum.

     Lily of the valley. _Convalaria majalis._ Leaves.

     Nettle. _Urtica dioica_ and _U. Urens._

     Privet. _Ligustrum vulgare._ Berries and leaves, with alum.


     Alder. _Alnus glutinosa._ Bark.

     Birch. _Betula alba._ Bark.

     Hop. _Humulus lupulus._ Stalks give a brownish red colour.

     Onion. Skins.

     Larch. Pine needles, collected in Autumn.

     Oak. _Quercus Robur._ Bark.

     Red currants, with alum.

     Walnut. Root and green husks of nut.

     Water Lily. _Nymphæa alba._ Root.

     Whortleberry. _Vaccinium Myrtillus._ Young shoots, with nut

     Dulse. (Seaweed.)



     Byrony. _Byronia dioica._ Berries.

     Damson. Fruit, with alum.

     Dandelion. _Taraxacum Dens-leonis._ Roots.

     Danewort. _Sambucus Ebulus._ Berries.

     Deadly nightshade. _Atropa Belladonna._

     Elder. _Sambucus nigra._ Berries, with alum, a violet; with
     alum and salt, a lilac colour.

     Sundew. _Drosera._

     Whortleberry or blaeberry. _Vaccinium myrtillus._ It
     contains a blue or purple dye which will dye wool and silk
     without mordant.


     Alder. _Alnus glutinosa._ Bark, with copperas.

     Blackberry. _Rubus fruticosus._ Young shoots, with salts of

     Dock. _Rumex._ Root.

     Elder. Bark, with copperas.

     Iris. _Iris Pseudacorus._ Root.

     Meadowsweet. _Spirea Ulmaria._

     Oak. Bark and acorns.


[Footnote A: "On boiling sloes, their juice becomes red, and the red
dye which it imparts to linen changes, when washed with soap, into a
bluish colour, which is permanent."]

[Footnote B: "Sawwort, which grows abundantly in meadows, affords a
very fine pure yellow with alum mordant, which greatly resembles weld
yellow. It is extremely permanent."]

[Footnote C: "The leaves of the sweet willow, _salix pentandra_,
gathered at the end of August and dried in the shade, afford, if
boiled with about one thirtieth potash, a fine yellow colour to wool,
silk and thread, with alum basis. All the 5 species of Erica or heath
growing on this island are capable of affording yellow much like those
from the dyer's broom; also the bark and shoots of the Lombardy
poplar, _populus pyramidalis_. The three leaved hellebore, _helleborus
trifolius_, for dyeing wood yellow, is used in Canada. The seeds of
the purple trefoil, lucerne, and fenugreek, the flowers of the French
marigold, the camomile, _antemis tinctoria_, the ash, _fraxinus
excelsior_, fumitory, _fumaria officinalis_, dye wool yellow." "The
American golden rod, _solidago canadensis_, affords a very beautiful
yellow to wool, silk and cotton upon an aluminous basis." _Bancroft._]



Some of the most useful dyes and the least known are to be found among
the Lichens. They seem to have been used among peasant dyers from
remote ages, but apparently none of the great French dyers used them,
nor are they mentioned in any of the old books on dyeing. The only
Lichen dyes that are known generally among dyers are Orchil and
Cudbear, and these are preparations of lichens, not the lichens
themselves. They are still used in some quantity and are prepared
rather elaborately. But a great many of the ordinary lichens yield
very good and permanent dyes. The _Parmelia saxatilis_ and _Parmelia
omphalodes_, are largely used in the Highlands and West Ireland, for
dyeing brown of all shades. No mordant is needed, and the colours
produced are the fastest known. "Crottle" is the general name for
Lichens in Scotland. They are gathered off the rocks in July and
August, dried in the sun, and used to dye wool, without any
preparation. The crottle is put into the bath with a sufficient
quantity of water, boiled up, allowed to cool, then boiled up with the
wool until the shade required is got. This may take from one to three
or four hours, as the dye is not rapidly taken up by the wool. Other
dyers use it in the following way: A layer of crottle, a layer of
wool, and so on until the bath is full; fill with cold water and bring
to the boil, and boil till the colour is deep enough. The wool does
not seem to be affected by keeping it in the dye a long time. A small
quantity of acetic acid put with the Lichen is said to assist in
exhausting the colour.

The grey Lichen, _Ramalina scopulorum_ dyes a fine shade of yellow
brown. It grows very plentifully on old stone walls, especially by the
sea, and in damp woods, on trees, and on old rotten wood. Boil the
Lichen up in sufficient water one day, and the next put in the wool,
and boil up again till the right colour is got. If the wool is left
in the dye for a day or more after boiling it absorbs more colour, and
it does not hurt the wool but leaves it soft and silky to the touch,
though apt to be uneven in colour. Some mordant the wool first with
alum, but it does not seem to need it.

The best known of the dye Lichens are _Parmelia saxatilis_ and
_Parmelia omphalodes_ which are still largely used in Scotland and
Ireland for dyeing wool for tweeds. The well-known Harris tweed smell
is partly due to the use of this dye.

Other Lichens also known for their dyeing properties are: _Parmelia
caperata_, or Stone Crottle, which contains a yellow dye, _P.
ceratophylla_, or Dark Crottle, and _P. parietina_, the common wall
Lichen, which gives a colour similar to that of the Lichen itself,
yellowish brown. A deep red colour can be got from the dull grey
friable Lichen, common on old stone walls. The bright yellow Lichen,
growing on rocks and walls, and old roofs, dyes a fine plum colour, if
the wool is mordanted first with Bichromate of Potash.

In Sweden, Scotland and other countries the peasantry use a Lichen,
called _Lecanora tartarea_ to furnish a red or crimson dye. It is
found abundantly on almost all rocks, and also grows on dry moors. It
is collected in May and June, and steeped in stale urine for about
three weeks, being kept at a moderate heat all the time. The substance
having then a thick and strong texture, like bread, and being of a
blueish black colour, is taken out and made into small cakes of about
3/4 lb. in weight, which are wrapped in dock leaves and hung up to dry
in peat smoke. When dry it may be preserved fit for use for many
years; when wanted for dyeing it is partially dissolved in warm water;
5 lbs. of Korkalett is considered sufficient for about 4 Scotch ells
of cloth. The colour produced is a light red. It is used in the dyeing
of yarn as well as of cloth.

In Shetland, the _Parmelia saxatilis_ (Scrottyie) is used to dye
brown. It is found in abundance on argillaceous rocks. It is
considered best if gathered late in the year, and is generally
collected in August.

Linnaeus mentions that a beautiful red colour may be prepared from the
Lichen _Gyrophora pustulata_. _G. Cylindrica_ is used by Icelanders
for dyeing woollen stuffs a brownish green colour. In Sweden and
Norway, _Evernia vulpina_ is used for dyeing woollen stuffs yellow.
Iceland Moss, _Cetraria Islandica_, is used in Iceland for dyeing
brown. _Usnea barbata_ is collected from trees in Pennsylvania, and
used for an orange colour for yarn.

A general method for using lichens is suggested by Dr. Westring of
Sweden in his _Experiments on Lichens for Dyeing Wools and Silks_:

     "The Lichens should be gathered after some days of rain,
     they can then be more easily detached from the rocks. They
     should be well washed, dried, and reduced to a fine powder:
     25 parts of pure river water are added to 1 of powdered
     lichen and 1 part of fresh quick lime to 10 parts powdered
     lichen. To 10 lbs. lichen half a pound sal ammoniac is
     sufficient when lime and sal ammoniac are used together. The
     vessel containing them should be kept covered for the first
     2 or 3 days. Sometimes the addition of a little common salt
     or salt-petre will give greater lustre to the colours."

This method can be followed by anyone wishing to experiment with

Dr. Westring did not use a mordant as a rule. Where the same species
of Lichen grows on both rocks and trees, the specimens taken from
rocks give the better colours.

ORCHIL OR ARCHIL AND CUDBEAR are substantive or non mordants dyes,
obtained from Lichens of various species of Roccella growing on rocks
in the Canary Islands and other tropical and sub-tropical countries.
They used to be made in certain parts of Great Britain from various
lichens, but the manufacture of these has almost entirely disappeared.
They have been known from early times as dyes. They give beautiful
purples and reds, but the colour is not very fast. The dye is produced
by the action of ammonia and oxygen upon the crushed Lichens or weeds
as they are called. The early way of producing the colour was by
treating the Lichen with stale urine and slaked lime and this method
was followed in Scotland. Orchil is applied to wool by the simple
process of boiling it in a neutral or slightly acid solution of the
colouring matter. 3% Sulphuric acid is a useful combination. Sometimes
alum and tartar are used. It dyes slowly and evenly. It is used as a
bottom for Indigo on wool and also for compound shades on wool and
silk. For cotton and linen dyeing it is not used. It is rarely used by
itself as the colour is fugitive, but by using a mordant of tin, the
colour is made much more permanent.

Many of the British lichens produce colours by the same treatment as
is used for producing Orchil. Large quantities were manufactured in
Scotland from lichens gathered in the Shetlands and Western Highlands.
This was called Cudbear. The Species used by the Scottish Cudbear
makers were generally _Lecanora tartarea_ and _Urceolaria calcarea_;
but the following lichens also give the purple colour on treatment
with ammonia:--_Evernia prunastri_, _Lecanora pallescens_,
_Umbilicaria vellea_, _U. pustulata_, _Parmelia perlata_. Several
others give colours of similar character, but of little commercial
value. The manufacture of Archil and Cudbear from the various lichens
is simple in principle. In all cases the plant is reduced to a pulp
with water and ammonia, and the mass kept at a moderate heat and
allowed to ferment, the process taking two or three weeks to complete.


_To dye Brown with Crotal._ For 6-1/4 lbs. (100 ozs.) of wool. Dye
baths may be used of varying strengths of from 10 to 50 ozs. of
Crotal. Raise the bath to the boil, and boil for an hour. A light tan
shade is got by first dipping the wool in a strong solution of Crotal,
a darker shade by boiling for half-an-hour, and a dark brown by
boiling for two hours or so. It is better, however, to get the shade
by altering the quantity of Crotal used. The addition of sufficient
oil of vitriol or acetic acid to make the bath slightly acid will be
an improvement (a very small quantity should be used).

_To dye red with Crotal._ Gather the lichen off the rocks--it is best
in winter. Put layers of lichen and wool alternately in a pot, fill up
with water and boil until you get the desired tint. Too much crotal
will make the wool a dark red brown, but a very pretty terra cotta red
can be got. No mordant is required.

_To dye Pink from a bright yellow Lichen_ (_Parmelia parietina_).
Mordant the wool with 3% of Bichromate of Potash, then boil with the
lichen for 1 hour or more.

_To dye Brown from Crotal._ Boil the wool with an equal quantity of
lichen for 1 or 1-1/2 hours. No mordant is required.

_To dye red purple from Cudbear and Logwood._ Dye with equal
quantities of Cudbear and Logwood, the wool having been mordanted with
chrome. A lighter colour is got by dyeing with 8 lbs. cudbear, 1/2 lb.
logwood (for 30 lbs. wool).

_To dye Yellow on Linen with the Lichen Peltigera canina_ (a large
flat lichen growing on rocks in woods). Mordant with alum (1/4 lb. to
a lb. of linen) boil for 2 hours. Then boil up with sufficient
quantity of the lichen till the desired colour is got.



     _Borrera ashney._ Chutcheleera. India.

     _Conicularia aculeata._ var. _spadicea._ Brown prickly
     cornicularia. Canary Islands, Highland Mountains.

     _Evernia prunastri._ Ragged hoary Lichen. Stag's horn
     Lichen. Found in Scotland on trees.

     _Isidium corallinum._ White crottle. On rocks in Scotland.

     _I. Westringii._ Westring's Isidium. Norway and Sweden.

     _Lecanora tartarea._ Crotal, Crottle, Corkur, Corcir,
     Korkir. Found in the Scotch Highlands and Islands, growing
     on rocks; used for the manufacture of Cudbear in Leith and

     _L. parella._ Light Crottle, Crabs Eye Lichen. Found in
     Scotland, France and England, on rocks and trees; formerly
     celebrated in the South of France in the making of the dye
     called Orseille d'Auvergne.

     _L. hæmatomma._ Bloody spotted lecanora, Black lecanora.
     Found in Scotland on rocks and trees.

     _Lecidea sanguinaria._ Red fruited lecidea. In Scotland, on

     _Nephroma parilis._ Chocolate coloured nephroma. Scotland,
     on stones. Said to dye blue.

     _Parmelia caperata._ Stone Crottle, Arcel. Found in North of
     Ireland and Isle of Man, on trees. Said to dye brown, orange
     lemon and yellow.

     _P. conspersa._ Sprinkled parmelia. Found growing on rocks
     in England.

     _P. omphalodes._ Black Crottle, Cork, Corker, Crostil or
     Crostal (Scotch Highlands). Arcel (Ireland). Kenkerig
     (Wales). Alaforel leaf (Sweden). Found on rocks, especially
     Alpine, in Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Scandinavia. One of
     the most extensively used dye lichens. It yields a dark
     brown dye readily to boiling water, and it is easily fixed
     to yarns by simple mordants. It is stated to yield a red,
     crimson or purple dye.

     _P. saxatilis._ Crottle, stane-raw, Staney-raw (Scotland).
     Scrottyie (Shetland). Sten-laf, Sten-mossa (Norway and
     Sweden). Found on rocks and stones in Scotland, Shetland,
     and Scandinavia. In winter the Swedish peasantry wear home
     made garments dyed purple by this Lichen. By the Shetlanders
     it is usually collected in August, when it is considered
     richest in colouring matter.

     _Ramalina farinacea._ Mealy ramalina. On trees in England.

     _R. scopulorum._ Ivory-like ramalina. Scotland, on maritime
     rocks. A red dye.

     _Rocella tinctoria._ Orseille. Grows in the South of France,
     on the rocks by the sea.

     _Solorina crocea._ Saffron yellow solorina. In Scotland, on
     mountain summits. The colouring matter is ready formed and
     abundant in the thallus.

     _Sticta pulmonacea._ On trees.

     _Umbilicaria pustulata._ Blistered umbilicaria. Found on
     rocks in Norway and Sweden.

     _Urceolaria calcarea._ Corkir, Limestone Urceolaria. Found
     in Scotland, Western Islands, Shetland and Wales, growing on
     limestone rocks.

     _U. cinerea._ Greyish Urceolaria. In England, on rocks.

     _U. scruposa._ Rock Urceolaria. Grows on rocks in hilly
     districts in England.

     _Usnea barbata._ Bearded Usnea. Pennsylvania and South
     America. On old trees. Stated to dye yarn orange.

     _U. florida._ Flowering Usnea. Pale greenish yellow or
     reddish brown.

     _U. plicata._ Plaited Usnea. On trees.


     _Alectoria jubata._ Horsehair Lichen, Rock hair. On fir
     trees in England. Pale greenish brown.

     _Borrera flavicans._ Yellow borrera. On trees in Germany.
     Gamboge yellow.

     _Cetraria Islandica._ Iceland moss. Iceland heaths and
     hills. It yields a good brown to boiling water, but this dye
     appears only to have been made available in Iceland.

     _Cetraria juniperina._ En-mossa. On trees in Scandinavia.

     _Evernia flavicans._ Wolf's-bane evernia. On trees in
     Scandinavia. Gamboge yellow.

     _Gyrophora cylindrica._ Cylindrical gyrophora. On rocks in
     Iceland. Greenish brown. Also G. deusta.

     _G. deusta._ Scorched-looking gyrophora. On rocks in
     Scandinavia. Linnaeus states that it furnishes a paint
     called "Tousch", much used in Sweden.

     _Lecanora candelaria._ Ljus mässa. On trees in Sweden.

     _Lecidea atro-virens._ Map lichen. On rocks, Scandinavia.

     _Lepraria chlorina._ Brimstone coloured lepraria.
     Scandinavia, on rocks.

     _L. Iolithus._ Viol-mässa. Sweden, on stones. Gives stones
     the appearance of blood stains.

     _Parmelia omphalodes._ In Scandinavia and Scotland.
     Withering asserts it yields a purple dye, paler, but more
     permanent, than orchil; which is prepared in Iceland by
     steeping in stale lye, adding a little salt and making it up
     into balls with lime.

     _P. parietina._ Common yellow wall lichen, Wäg-mässla
     Wag-laf. England and Sweden, on trees, rocks, walls,
     palings. Used to dye Easter eggs. Used in Sweden for wool

     _P. physoides._ Dark crottle, Bjork-laf. Found in Sweden,
     Scotland and Scandinavia, on rocks and trees.

     _Sticta pulmonacea._ Oak lung, Lungwort, Aikraw Hazelraw,
     Oak-rag, Hazel crottle, Rags. Found on trees in England,
     Scotland, North of Ireland, Scandinavia. It dyes wool orange
     and is said to have been used by the Herefordshire peasantry
     to dye stockings brown. Some species yield beautiful saffron
     or gamboge coloured dyes, e.g. _S. flava crocata, aurata_.

     _S. scrobiculata._ Aik-raw, Oak rag. Found on trees in
     Scotland and England.


[Footnote D: From an article by Dr. Lauder Lindsay on "The Dyeing
Properties of Lichens." _The Edinburgh Philosophical Journal_, July to
October, 1855.]





Indigo is the blue matter extracted from a plant _Indigofera
tinctoria_ and other species, growing in Asia, South America and
Egypt. It reaches the market in a fine powder, which is insoluble in
water. There are two ways of dyeing with Indigo. It may be dissolved
in sulphuric acid or oil of vitriol, thereby making an indigo extract.
This process was discovered in 1740. It gives good blue colours but is
not very permanent, darker colours are more so than the paler. It does
not dye cotton or linen.

The other method is by the Indigo vat process which produces fast
colours but is complicated and difficult. In order to colour with
indigo it has to be deprived of its oxygen. The deoxidized indigo is
yellow and in this state penetrates the woollen fibre; the more
perfectly the indigo in a vat is deoxidized, the brighter and faster
will be the colour. For wool dyeing the vats are heated to a
temperature of 50°C. Cotton and linen are generally dyed cold.


1 lb. oil of vitriol (pure, not commercial).
2 oz. finely ground Indigo.
1/2 oz. precipitated chalk.

Mix a little of the indigo with a small quantity of oil of vitriol,
add a little chalk and stir well. Go on mixing gradually till all is
used up. This should take an hour or two. Stir a few times each day
for 4 or 5 days, adding about 1/2 oz. more of chalk by degrees. It is
best mixed in a glass stoppered bottle or jar, and stirred with a
glass rod. It must be kept from the air.

INDIGO EXTRACT (4 to 6 lbs. wool).

Mordant[E] 25% Alum. Stir 2 to 3 ozs. Indigo extract into the water of
dye bath. The amount is determined by the depth of shade required.
When warm, enter the wool and bring slowly to boiling point (about 1/2
an hour) and continue boiling for another 1/2 hour. By keeping it
below boiling point while dyeing, better colours are got, but it is
apt to be uneven. Boiling levels the colour but makes the shade
greener. This is corrected by adding to the dye bath a little logwood,
10 to 20 per cent which should be boiled up separately, strained, and
put in bath before the wool is entered; too much logwood dims the
colour. Instead of logwood a little madder is sometimes used; also
Cudbear or Barwood.


To 2 quarts of water add 1/4 lb. lime, and make hot. Then add 1 oz.
indigo pounded up with a little of the lime water; let it stand and
get warmer. Pound up 1/2 oz. tin, _Stannous Chloride_, in a little
lime water and add, together with 1/2 oz. zinc. Add more lime water or
tin according to the state of the vat. There should be a streaky scum
on the surface, and the water underneath clear with a green tinge.
Pearl ash can be used instead of lime.


2 ozs. powdered indigo.
7 fluid ozs. Caustic Soda solution (SG 1.2).
4 pints Sodium Hydrosulphite (SG 1.1).

_The Stock Solution._--Take 2 ozs. of well pounded indigo, with enough
warm water (120°F.) to make a paste, and _grind_ in a pestle and
mortar for 10 minutes. Empty into a saucepan, capacity 1 gallon. Take
12 fluid ozs. of water adding gradually 3 ozs. of commercial caustic
soda 76 per cent. This will give a solution of SG 1.2, which can be
tested with a hydrometer reading from 1000 to 2000, the 1000
representing SG 1 as for water.

Next take 5 pints water, add hydrosulphite slowly, stirring gently
until a reading of 1100 is shown (SG 1.1) on the hydrometer. If the
hydrosulphite be weighed beforehand and the stock of the same be kept
free from damp air, or great heat, for future vats the hydrometer can
be dispensed with; it is simply weighed out and added slowly to the
water. If added too quickly the hydrosulphite will cake, fall to the
bottom and be difficult to dissolve.

To the saucepan containing the indigo (100 per cent) add 7 fluid ozs.
of the caustic soda solution, then gradually add 3-1/2 pints of
hydrosulphite solution, stirring gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Heat the
saucepan to 120°F. and on no account to more than 140°F.--_overheating
will ruin the Stock Solution_--let it stand for half an hour, then
test with a strip of glass. This should show a perfectly clear golden
yellow colour (turning blue in 45 secs. approx.), free from spots. If
dark spots show, this indicates undissolved indigo, therefore
gradually add hydrosulphite solution (2-3 fluid ozs.). Wait 15 mins.
and test with glass strip; if incorrect continue this every 15 minutes
until the glass indicates clear yellow. If the Stock Solution is
greenish white and turbid, undissolved _indigo white_ is present. Add
then not more than a teaspoonful at a time caustic soda solution until
the Stock Solution answers the glass test.

The _Dye Vat_ should contain about 10 gallons of water heated to hand
hot, 120° and not above 140°F. Add 3 ozs. of hydrosulphite solution
stirring carefully, let it stand for 20 minutes; this renders harmless
any undissolved oxygen. Add a small cupful of the Stock Solution, stir
carefully without splashing. The vats should be greenish yellow and
_should not feel slimy_, an indication of too much caustic. The vat is
now ready to dye and is kept at 120° to 140°F.

Between dips add Stock Solution as required, if the vat goes blue and
turbid add 3 to 4 fluid ozs. of hydrosulphite and warm up to 140°F.
and wait 30 minutes. As a last resort add caustic soda solution very
gradually. This should not be required if the Stock Solution is
properly prepared.

Start to dye with weak vats, 20 to 40 minute dips, and finish with
stronger vats. The more dips given to obtain a fixed shade, the faster
will be the yarn to washing and rubbing. The yarn must be oxidized by
exposure to the air for the same length of time as dipped. After the
final dip, pass the yarn through a 10 gallon bath of water to which is
added 3 ozs. of sulphuric acid, pure or hydrochloric. This neutralizes
the caustic used. Wash yarn at least twice in water.

_Improvement of Defective Indigo Vat Dyes._

If, after washing until clear, the yarn should rub off badly, there is
but one remedy. Wash same in Fuller's earth, and if the shade is then
too pale, re-dye. If, through bad management of the vats, the yarn is
dull, pass the yarn through a hot bath (100% water, 1% acetic acid)
and wash in two waters. If yarn is streaky, take 10 gallons of water
at 120°F., 1 oz. of hydrosulphite powder, 2 fluid ozs. liquid ammonia
fort. 880, and let yarn lie in same for 60 minutes. Wash in two

The following facts should be carefully noted:--

The Caustic Soda is the _alkali_ which dissolves the Indigo White.

The Hydrosulphite _reduces_ the Indigotine in the Indigo to _Indigo

Indigo White is fixed on the yarn as Indigo White and on exposure to
the air becomes blue.

The yarn, on removal from the vat, should come out greenish yellow or
a greenish blue. The latter is for blue yarn and should not turn blue
too quickly (allow 60 seconds at least).

Rest the vats for 1 hour after 3 hours work. Never hurry the vats. It
is a good thing to have hydrosulphite slightly in excess as this
prevents premature oxidization; too much will strip off the indigo
white already deposited on the yarn.

Caustic Soda must always be used with the greatest caution or the yarn
will be tendered and ruined.

Finally, unless the yarn is completely scoured it is impossible to
obtain a clear colour, or a blue which will not rub off.

The figures given are for Indigo bearing 100% Indigotine, therefore in
using vegetable Indigo do not add _all_ the Caustic or Hydrosulphite,
but depend on the glass test rather than on measurements.


Woad is derived from a plant, _Isatis tinctoria_, growing in the North
of France and in England. It was the only blue dye in the West before
Indigo was introduced from India. Since then woad has been little used
except as a fermenting agent for the Indigo vat. It dyes woollen cloth
a greenish colour which changes to a deep blue in the air. It is said
to be inferior in colour to indigo but the colour is much more
permanent. The leaves when cut are reduced to a paste, kept in heaps
for about fifteen days to ferment, and then are formed into balls
which are dried in the sun; these have a rather agreeable smell and
are of a violet colour. These balls are subjected to a further
fermentation of nine weeks before being used by the dyer. When woad is
now used it is always in combination with indigo, to improve the
colour. Even by itself, however, it yields a good and very permanent

It is not now known how the ancients prepared the blue dye, but it has
been stated (Dr. Plowright) that woad leaves when covered with boiling
water, weighted down for half-an-hour, the water then poured off
treated with caustic potash and subsequently with hydrochloric acid,
yield a good indigo blue. If the time of infusion be increased, greens
and browns are obtained. It is supposed that woad was "vitrum" the dye
with which Caesar said almost all the Britons stained their bodies. It
is said to grow near Tewkesbury, also Banbury. It was cultivated till
quite lately in Lincolnshire. There were four farms in 1896; one at
Parson Drove, near Wisbech, two farms at Holbeach, and one near
Boston. Indigo has quite superseded it in commerce.


(_Bois de Campeche, Campeachy Wood_)

Logwood is a dye wood from Central America, used for producing blues
and purples on wool, black on cotton and wool, and black and violet on
silk. It is called by old dyers one of the Lesser Dyes, because the
colour was said to lose all its brightness when exposed to the air.
But with proper mordants and with careful dyeing this dye can produce
fast and good colours. Queen Elizabeth's government issued an
enactment entirely forbidding the use of logwood. The person so
offending was liable to imprisonment and the pillory. The principal
use for logwood is in making blacks. The logwood chips should be put
in a bag and boiled for 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour, just before using.


(1). BLACK

Mordant the wool for 1 to 1-1/2 hours with 3 per cent Chrome and 1 per
cent Sulphuric Acid. Wash and dye in separate bath for 1 to 1-1/2
hours with 50 per cent Logwood. This gives a blue black.

A dead black is got by adding 5 per cent Fustic to the dye bath.

A green black by adding more fustic. Also by adding 3 to 4 per cent
Alum to the mordanting bath a still greener shade can be obtained.

A violet black is produced by adding 2 per cent Stannous Chloride to
the dye bath and continue boiling for 20 minutes.


Mordant with 3 per cent Bichromate of Potash for 45 minutes and wash.
Dye with 2 per cent madder, 1 per cent logwood. Enter the wool, raise
to the boil and boil for 45 minutes. The proportion of logwood to
madder can be so adjusted as to give various shades of claret to


(Highland recipe.) Mordant with 3 per cent Bichromate of Potash and
boil wool in it for 1-1/2 hours. Wash and dry wool. Make a bath of 15
to 20 per cent logwood with about 3 per cent chalk added to it. Boil
the wool for 1 hour, wash and dry. The wool can be greened by steeping
it all night in a hot solution of heather till the desired tint is


Mordant with 25 per cent Alum for 1/2 hour at boiling heat; then take
it out, add to the same liquor 5 per cent copperas, and work it at
boiling heat for 1/2 hour. Then wash. In another copper, boil 50 per
cent logwood chips for 20 minutes. Put the wool into this for 1/2
hour; then return it into the alum and copperas for 10 to 15 minutes.
Wash well.


(2-1/2 lbs.) Mordant with 25 per cent alum and 1 per cent cream of
tartar for 1 hour. Let cool in the mordant, then wring out and put
away for 4 to 5 days.

Dye with 60 per cent logwood and 25 per cent madder. Boil up the
logwood and madder in a separate bath and pour through a sieve into
the dye bath. Enter the wool when warm and bring to the boil. Boil
from 1/2 hour to 1-1/2 hours. Wash thoroughly in soft water.


(For 1 lb.) Mordant wool with 1/4 lb. alum and 1/2 oz. tartar for one
hour; wring out and put away in a bag for some days. Dye with 1/4 lb.
logwood for 1 hour.


[Footnote E: If the Extract is used alone, a mordant is not





Kermes, or Kerms, from which is got the "Scarlet of Grain" of the old
dyers, is one of the old insect dyes. It is considered by most dyers
to be the first of the red dyes, being more permanent than cochineal
and brighter than madder. In the 10th century it was in general use in
Europe. The reds of the Gothic tapestries were dyed with it, and are
very permanent, much more so than the reds of later tapestries, which
were dyed with cochineal. Bancroft says "The Kermes red or scarlet,
though less vivid, is more durable than that of cochineal. The fine
blood-red seen at this time on old tapestries in different parts of
Europe, unfaded, though many of them are two or three hundred years
old, were all dyed from Kermes, with the aluminous basis, on woollen

Kermes consists of the dried bodies of a small scale insect, _Coccus
ilicis_, found principally on the ilex oak, in the South of Europe,
and still used there.

William Morris speaks of the "Al-kermes or coccus which produces with
an ordinary aluminous mordant a central red, true vermilion, and with
a good dose of acid a full scarlet, which is the scarlet of the Middle
Ages, and was used till about the year 1656, when a Dutch chemist
discovered the secret of getting a scarlet from cochineal by the use
of tin, and so produced a cheaper, brighter and uglier scarlet."

Kermes is employed exactly like cochineal. It has a pleasant aromatic
smell which it gives to the wool when dyed with it.


The dried red bodies of an insect (_Coccus Cacti_) found in Mexico are
named Cochineal.


(For 1 lb. wool.) Mordant with Bichromate of Potash (3%). Dye for 1 to
2 hours with 3 oz. to 6 oz. cochineal. With alum mordant (25%) a
crimson colour is got. With tin mordant (10%) a scarlet. With iron
mordant (6%) a purplish slate or lilac.


Mordant with 6 per cent Stannous Chloride and 4 per cent Cream of
Tartar, boiling 1 hour. Dye with 15 to 20 per cent Cochineal, boil for
1 hour.

Enter in both mordant and dye bath, cool, and raise slowly to the
boil. To obtain a yellow shade of scarlet, a small quantity of Flavin,
Fustic, or other yellow dye may be added to the dye bath.


(1 lb.) Into the same bath, put 1 oz. tin, 1/8 oz. oxalic acid, 4 oz.
cochineal. Enter silk and boil for 1 hour. With less oxalic acid, a
less scarlet colour will be obtained.


Mordant with 20 per cent alum or with 15 per cent alum and 5 per cent
Tartar. Dye in separate bath, after well washing, with 8 to 15 per
cent cochineal. Boil 1 hour. A slight addition of ammonia to the dye
bath renders the shade bluer.


(1 lb.) Mordant with Alum. Dye with 2 oz. Madder, 2-1/2 ozs.
Cochineal, 1/4 oz. Oxalic Acid and 1/2 oz. tin.

(6). PURPLE (for 5 lbs.)

Mordant with 3 ozs. Chrome. Wash. Dye for 2 to 3 hours with 13 ozs.
Cochineal, which has been boiled for 10 minutes before entering wool.
A tablespoonful of vinegar added to the dye bath helps the colour.
Wash thoroughly.


Madder consists of the ground-up dried roots of a plant _Rubia
tinctorum_, cultivated in France, Holland and other parts of Europe,
as well as in India. Madder is one of the best and fastest dyes. It is
used also in combination with other dyes to produce compound colours.
The gradual raising of the temperature of the dye bath is essential in
order to develop the full colouring power of madder; long boiling
should be avoided, as it dulls the colour. If the water is deficient
in lime, brighter shades are got by adding a little ground chalk to
the dye bath, 1 to 2 per cent.

Madder is difficult to dye as it easily rubs off and the following
points should be noted.

     (1). The baths should be quite clean. Rusty baths must not
     be used.

     (2). Before dyeing, the wool must be thoroughly washed so as
     to get rid of all superfluous mordant.

     (3). A handful of bran to the pound of wool, helps to
     brighten the colour.

     (4). The wool should be entered into a tepid dye bath and
     raised to boiling in 1 hour and boiled for 10 minutes or

(1) RED

Mordant with 1/4 lb. Alum to the pound of wool. Boil for 1 hour, let
cool in mordant, wring out and put away in bag for 3 or 4 days. Wash
very thoroughly. Then dye with 5 to 8 ozs. madder according to depth
of colour required, and a handful of bran for every pound of wool.
Enter in cool bath and bring slowly to the boil in an hour or more.
Boil for a few minutes.


Mordant with Alum. Dye with 4 to 4-1/2 ozs. madder to lb. wool and a
very small quantity of logwood (1/2 oz. to 1 oz. to 3 or 4 lbs. of


(1 lb.) Mordant with 2-1/2 ozs. Copper Sulphate. Dye with 2 ozs. to 4
ozs. Madder according to depth of colour required. For yellow brown
add a small quantity of fustic (1/4 oz. to the lb.)


Mordant wool with 3% Chrome (see p. 9), wash well and dye with 5 to 8
ozs. madder, bringing slowly to the boil, and boil for 1 hour.

Various shades of brownish red can be got by a mixture of madder,
fustic and logwood with a Chrome mordant in varying proportions such
as 28 per cent Madder, 12 per cent Fustic, 1 per cent Logwood for a
brownish claret. 5 per cent Madder, 4 per cent Fustic, 1/2 per cent
Logwood for tan.


Various leguminous trees, including lima, sapan and peach wood, dye
red with alum and tartar, and a purplish slate colour with bichromate
of potash. Some old dyers use Brazil wood to heighten the red of

used in wool dyeing, with other dye woods (such as Old Fustic, and
logwood) for browns. They dye good but fugitive red with bichromate of
potash, or alum.




Weld, _Reseda luteola_, is an annual plant growing in waste places.
The whole plant is used for dyeing except the root. It is the best and
fastest of the yellow natural dyes.

The plant is gathered in June and July, it is then carefully dried in
the shade and tied up in bundles. When needed for dyeing it is broken
into pieces or chopped finely, the roots being discarded, and a
decoction is made by boiling it up in water for about 3/4 hour. It
gives a bright yellow with alum and tartar as mordant. With chrome it
yields an old gold shade; with tin it produces more orange coloured
yellows; with copper and iron, olive shades. The quantity of weld used
must be determined by the depth of colour required. Two per cent of
stannous chloride added to the mordant gives brilliancy and fastness
to the colour. Bright and fast orange yellows are got by mordanting
with 8 per cent stannous chloride instead of alum. With 6 per cent
copper sulphate and 8 per cent chalk, weld gives a good orange yellow.
Wool mordanted with 4 per cent of ferrous sulphate and 10 per cent
tartar and dyed in a separate bath with weld with 8 per cent chalk,
takes a good olive yellow. 8 per cent of alum is often used for
mordant for weld. A little chalk added to the dye bath makes the
colour more intense; common salt makes the colour richer and deeper.

Weld is of greater antiquity than most, if not all, other natural
yellow dyes. It is cultivated for dyeing in France, Germany and Italy.
It is important as it dyes silk with a fast colour.


Mordant with 2 per cent chrome and dye with 60 per cent of weld in a
separate bath. 3 per cent chalk adds to intensity of colour.


Mordant with alum, and dye with 1 lb. of weld for every pound of wool.
Common salt deepens the colour. If alum is added to the dye bath, the
colour becomes paler and more lively. Sulphate of iron inclines it to


Mordant with alum with a little weld in the bath. Dye with weld. Add
teaspoonful of tin to the dye bath. Boil in separate bath with 1/4 oz.
madder or cochineal to the pound.


Fustic is the wood of _Morus tinctoria_, a tree of Central America. It
is used principally for wool. With Bichromate of Potash as mordant,
Old Fustic gives old gold colour. With alum it gives yellow, inclining
to lemon yellow. The brightest yellows are got from it by mordanting
with tin. With copper sulphate it yields olive colours (4 to 5 per
cent copper sulphate and 3 to 4 per cent tartar). With ferrous
sulphate darker olives are obtained (8 per cent ferrous sulphate). For
silk it does not produce as bright yellows as weld, but can be used
for various shades of green and olive. Prolonged dyeing should always
be avoided, as the yellows are apt to become brownish and dull.



Boil the wool with 3 to 4 per cent chrome for 1 to 1-1/2 hours. Wash,
and dye in a separate bath for 1 to 1-1/2 hours at 100°C. with 20 to
80 per cent of old fustic.


Mordant with 3 per cent chrome, for 3/4 hour and wash. Dye with 24 per
cent fustic and 4 per cent madder for 45 minutes.


Mordant wool with 8 per cent of stannous chloride for 1 to 1-1/2
hours, and 8 per cent of tartar. Wash, and dye with 20 to 40 per cent
of fustic.


Mordant wool with 3 per cent chrome, for 3/4 hour and wash. Dye with 6
per cent fustic, 33 per cent logwood. Boil 3/4 hour.


Mordant with 25 per cent alum, wash after laying by for 2 days, dye
with 5 to 6 oz. fustic to lb.


Turmeric is a powder obtained from the ground-up tubers of _Curcuma
tinctoria_, a plant found in India and other Eastern countries. It
gives a brilliant orange yellow, but has little permanence. It is one
of the substantive colours and does not need any mordant. Cotton has a
strong attraction for it, and is simply dyed by working in a solution
of Turmeric at 60°C. for about 1/2 hour. With silk and wool it gives a
brighter colour if mordanted with alum or tin. Boiling should be
avoided. It is used sometimes for deepening the colour of Fustic or
Weld, but its use is not recommended, as although it gives very
beautiful colours, it is a fugitive dye.


Quercitron is the inner bark of the _Quercus Nigra_ or Q. tinctoria, a
species of oak growing in the United States and Central America. It
was first introduced into England by Bancroft in 1775 as a cheap
substitute for weld. He says,

     "The wool should be boiled for the space of 1 or 1-1/4 hours
     with one sixth or one eighth of its weight of alum; then,
     without being rinsed, it should be put into a dyeing vessel
     with clean water and also as many pounds of powdered bark
     (tied up in bag) as there were used of alum to prepare the
     wool, which is then to be turned in the boiling liquor until
     the colour appears to have taken sufficiently: and then
     about 1 lb. clean powdered chalk for every 100 lbs. of wool
     may be mixed with the dyeing liquor and the operation
     continued 8 or 10 minutes longer, when the yellow will have
     become both lighter and brighter by this addition of chalk."

Flavin is extract of Quercitron bark, and is much used for bright
yellow with tin.

YELLOW (1 lb.)

Mordant with alum. Dye with 1 oz. Flavin.


Put into bath first 1/2 oz. Cream of Tartar. Then 3/4 oz. tin mixed
with water (important to enter the Tartar first). Enter yarn and boil
for 45 minutes. In the meantime have mixed up 1/2 oz. Flavin and 1/2
oz. to 3/4 oz. Cochineal (according to depth of orange required) with
1/4 oz. tin with a little warm water. Remove yarn, enter flavin,
madder and tin, take off the boil, enter yarn and stir well. Boil 30


The roots and bark of _Berberis Vulgaris_ is used principally for silk
dyeing, without a mordant. The silk is worked at 50° to 60°C. in a
solution of the dye wood slightly acidified with sulphuric, acetic or
tartaric acid. For dark shades mordant with stannous chloride.


_Genista Tinctoria._ The plant grows on waste ground. It should be
picked in June or July and dried. It can be used with an alum and
tartar mordant and gives a good bright yellow. It is called greening
weed and used to be much used for greening blue wool.


_Ligustrum Vulgare._ The leaves dye a good fast yellow with alum and


Most of the heathers make a yellow dye, but the one chiefly used is
the Ling, _Calluna vulgaris_. The tips are gathered just before
flowering. They are boiled in water for about half-an-hour. The wool,
previously mordanted with alum or chrome according to the shade of
yellow wanted, is put into the dye bath with the boiling liquor, which
has been strained. It is then covered up closely and left till the
morning. Or the wool can be boiled in the heather liquor till the
desired colour is obtained.


Prepare by mordanting with alum. Take a sufficient quantity of onion
skins and boil for 30 minutes. This gives a good yellow. The addition
of tin will make the colour more orange.





Catechu (Cutch) is an old Indian dye for cotton. It can also be used
for wool and silk, and gives a fine rich brown. It is obtained from
the wood of various species of Areca, Acacia and Mimosa trees. Bombay
Catechu is considered best for dyeing purposes.

Catechu is soluble in boiling water. It is largely used by the cotton
dyer for brown, olive, drab, grey and black. (See pp. 46, 47, 48.)


(For 6 lbs.) 1 oz. cutch, 1 oz. iron. Boil for 1/2 an hour in the
cutch, then put into boiling iron, being very careful to stir well.
Wash very thoroughly.

These proportions can be varied according to the shade of grey
required; the more iron makes the colour browner, the more cutch the
bluer grey.


The wool is boiled for 1 to 1-1/2 hours, with 10 to 20 per cent
catechu, then sadden with 2 to 4 per cent of copper sulphate, ferrous
sulphate, or chrome, at 100°C., in a separate bath for 1/2 hour.


The bark and twigs of alder are used for dyeing brown and black. For 1
lb. wool use 1 lb. alder bark. Boil the wool with it for 2 hours, when
it should be a dull reddish brown. Add 1/2 oz. copper as for every
pound of wool for black.


Sumach is the ground up leaves and twigs of the _Rhus coraria_ growing
in Southern Europe. It dyes wool a yellow and a yellow brown, but it
is chiefly used in cotton dyeing.


The green shell of the walnut fruit and the root are used for dyeing
brown. The husks to be used for dyeing must be collected green and
fresh, then covered with water and kept from the light to prevent them
oxidizing. In the walnut tree there is an astringent colourless
substance which gives a greenish yellow dye. This has the property of
absorbing oxygen from the air and turning dark brown. It is only the
unoxidized pale greenish stuff that can act as the dye, the dark brown
itself has no affinity for the wool. Acids should be added to the dye
bath to prevent oxidization. Without a mordant the colour is quite
fast, but if the wool is mordanted with alum a brighter and richer
colour is got. When used they are boiled in water for 1/4 hour, then
the wool is entered and boiled till the colour is obtained. Long
boiling is not good as it makes the wool harsh. It is much used as a
"saddening" agent; that is, for darkening other colours.

     "The best and most enduring blacks were done with this
     simple dye stuff, the goods being first dyed in the indigo
     or woad vat till they were a very dark blue, and then
     browned into black by means of the walnut root."--_William

PEAT SOOT gives a good shade of brown to wool. Boil the wool for 1 to
2 hours with peat soot. Careful washing is required in several changes
of water. It is used sometimes for producing a hazel colour, after the
wool has been dyed with weld and madder.

OAK BARK. Mordant with alum and dye in a decoction of oak bark.

ONION SKINS. (Brown.) Mordant the wool with alum. Drying two or three
times in between makes the colour more durable. Dry. Wash. Boil a
quantity of onion skins, and cool; then put in wool and boil lightly
for 1/2 an hour to 1 hour; then keep warm for a while. Wring out and

BLACK. Mordant with 3% Bichromate of Potash for 45 minutes. Dye with 1
oz. Hematin crystals, 3/4 oz. madder, 1/2 oz. Persian berries. After
boiling for 1 hour remove wool and add 1/4 oz. cream of tartar, 1 oz.
cochineal, 3/4 oz. iron, 1/2 oz. copper sulphate. Return wool and boil
again for 1/2 hour. Wash in soap.


MADDER for BROWN. (1 lb. wool.) Mordant with 1 oz. copperas and 1 oz.
cream of tartar. Dye with 6 ozs. madder.

MADDER, etc., for FRENCH BROWN. Mordant with 3 per cent chrome. Dye
with 8 per cent fustic, 2 per cent madder, 1 per cent cudbear, 2 per
cent tartar. If not dark enough add 1 per cent logwood. Boil for 1/2
hour. Wash and dry.

TAN SHADE. (6-1/2 lbs. wool.) Mordant with 3 ozs. Chrome for 45
minutes and wash in cold water. Boil for 1/2 hour in a bag 5 oz.
madder, 4 oz. Fustic, 1/2 oz. logwood. Enter the wool, raise to the
boil, and boil for 45 minutes. By altering the proportions of madder
and fustic various shades of brown can be got.

GREENISH BLACK. (For 1 lb.) Mordant with 3 per cent Chrome. Dye with 2
ozs. Fustic, 2 ozs. logwood, 1 oz. madder, and 1 oz. copperas.

DARK GREENISH-BROWN. (1 lb.) Mordant with 3 per cent chrome. Dye with
2 ozs. logwood, 4 ozs. madder, 1 oz. fustic, 1-1/2 ozs. copperas. Boil
for 1 hour.



Green results from the mixing of blue and yellow in varying
proportions according to the shade of colour required.

Every dyer has his particular yellow weed with which he greens his
blue dyed stuff. But the best greens are undoubtedly got from weld and

The wool is first dyed in the blue vat; then washed and dried; then
after mordanting, dyed in the yellow bath. This method is not
arbitrary as some dyers consider a better green is got by dyeing it
yellow before the blue. But the first method produces the fastest and
brightest greens as the aluming after the blue vat clears the wool of
the loose particles of indigo and seems to fix the colour.

If a bright yellow green is wanted, then mordant with alum after the
indigo bath; if olive green, then mordant with chrome.

The wool can be dyed blue for green in three different ways:--1st in
the Indigo vat, 2nd with Indigo Extract with Alum mordant, 3rd with
logwood with Chrome mordant. For a good bright green, dye the wool a
rather light blue, then wash and dry; Mordant with alum, green it with
a good yellow dye, such as weld or fustic, varying the proportion of
each according to the shade of green required. Heather tips, dyer's
broom, dock roots, poplar leaves, saw wort are also good yellows for
dyeing green. If Indigo Extract is used for the blue, fustic is the
best yellow for greening, its colour is less affected by the sulphuric
acid than other yellows.

According to _Bancroft_, Quercitron is the yellow above all others for
dyeing greens. He says:--"The most beautiful Saxon greens may be
produced very cheaply and expeditiously by combining the lively yellow
which results from Quercitron bark, murio sulphate of tin and alum,
with the blue afforded by Indigo when dissolved in sulphuric acid, as
for dyeing the Saxon Blue."

"For a full bodied green" he says "6 or 8 lbs. of powdered bark should
be put into a dyeing vessel for every 100 lbs. wool, with a similar
quantity of water: When it begins to boil, 6 lbs. murio-sulphate of
tin should be added (with the usual precaution) and a few minutes
afterwards 4 lbs. alum: these having boiled 5 or 6 minutes, cold water
should be added, and then as much sulphate of Indigo as needed for the
shade of green to be dyed, stirring thoroughly. The wool is then put
into the liquor and stirred briskly for half an hour. It is best to
keep the water just at the boiling point."



Dye the wool blue in the indigo vat, wash well. For 100 parts of wool
put 3 of chalk and 10 or 12 of alum. Boil wool in this 1 hour. Then to
same bath add 10 to 12 parts quercitron and continue boiling for 15
minutes, then add 1 part of chalk, this addition is repeated at
intervals of 6 to 8 minutes till a fine green is brought out.


Mordant 1 lb. wool with 4 ozs. alum and 1/2 oz. cream of tartar. Dye
blue with sufficiency of indigo extract, wash and dry. Prepare a dye
bath with weld which has been previously chopped up and boiled. Enter
wool and boil for half an hour or more.


Mordant with alum and cream of tartar, add to the mordanting bath a
little weld or fustic. Dye with 6 ozs. fustic (or weld). Dye in a
separate bath with indigo extract, a rather bluer green than is
wanted. Then put into a yellow bath till the right shade of green is


For 1 lb. wool: 1-1/2 oz. alum, 1/2 oz. sulphuric acid, 1/2 oz. salt,
1/4 oz. Tin crystals. Dissolve tin in separate saucepan and mix half
of it with 1/4 oz. Flavin, add both to the bath together with indigo
extract (1/2 tablespoonful). When hot enter yarn and boil hard for 1
to 1-1/2 hours. It turns a green when exposed to air. Wash very

(5) JADE GREEN (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1/3 oz. Cream of Tartar and 4 oz. Alum for 1/2 hour. Take
out wool and air. Cool bath a little and add half the amount of the
indigo extract to be used (according to shade of green required,
1/2 oz. indigo extract makes a good colour). Enter wool and stir
rapidly for 5 minutes or so without boiling. Take out wool. Mix in the
rest of the indigo extract. Enter wool and boil for 10 minutes. Take
out wool. Throw away a quarter of the water and add some with 3/4 oz.
fustic extract. Enter wool and boil for 1/2 hour to an hour.



The dyeing of cotton is difficult with the natural dye stuffs, there
are only a few colours which can be said to be satisfactory. The
fastest known in earlier days was Turkey red, a long and difficult
process with madder and not very practical for the small dyer. It had
its origin in India where it is still used; red Indian cotton is one
of the fastest colours known. Catechu is another excellent cotton dye
used for various shades of brown, grey and black. A cold indigo vat is
used for blue, Indigo Extract is not used. Yellows can be got with
weld, flavin, turmeric (for which cotton has a strong attraction), and
fustic. Great care is to be taken in dyeing yellow as it is not very
fast to light. Greens may be got by dyeing in the indigo vat and then
with a yellow recipe, purples from logwood with tin mordant, but
purples and greens are unsatisfactory, and not suitable to the
vegetable dyer.


Before dyeing cotton in the raw state, or in yarn spun direct from the
raw state, it must be boiled for several hours to extract its natural
impurities. For dark colours water alone may be used, but for light
and bright colours a weak solution of carbonate of soda, 5%; or of
caustic soda, 2%, should be used.


_Alum._ Alum (1/4 weight of cotton) is dissolved in hot water with
carbonate of soda crystals, or other alkali (1/4 weight of alum); work
cotton in the solution, steep for several hours or overnight. Then
well wash. Aluminium acetate solution as for silk (page 56) may be
used. After drying, the cotton may be passed through a fixing solution
of some alkali, for examples see page 50. Before mordanting with
alum, the cotton is often prepared with tannic acid.

_Iron._ Iron is usually employed as a "saddening" agent, i.e. the
cotton after dyeing is steeped in a cold solution of the mordant. A
further use is in dyeing black, when the cotton, after being prepared
with tannin, is steeped in a cold solution of Iron. This process by
itself gives a dark colour before any dye is used.

_Tin._ Tin is rarely used alone as a mordant for cotton but brightens
the colour in combination with other mordants.

_Chrome._ Chrome is used for browns and other colours with Catechu.
After boiling in a solution of the dye stuff, boil a short time in
chrome solution, this oxidizes the colouring matter of the Catechu.

_Copper._ Copper is sometimes added in small quantities to the dye
bath for brown or yellow to vary the shade.

_Tannin (Tannic acid)._ Cotton and linen strongly attract tannin and
when prepared with it they are able to retain dyes permanently. Cotton
saturated with tannin attracts the dye stuff more rapidly, and holds
it. Tannic acid is the best tannin for mordanting as it is the purest
and is free from any other colouring matter; it is, therefore, used
for pale and bright shades. But for dark shades, substances containing
tannic acid are used, such as _sumach_, _myrobalans_, _valonia_,
_divi-divi_, _oak galls_, _chestnut_ (8 to 10 per cent tannin),

Cotton and linen are prepared with tannin after they have been through
the required cleansing, and, if necessary, bleaching operations. A
bath is prepared with 2 to 5 per cent of tannic acid of the weight of
the cotton, and a sufficient quantity of water. For dark shades, 5 to
10 per cent should be used. The bath is used either hot or cold. It
should not be above 60°C. The cotton is worked in this for some time,
and then left to soak for 3 to 12 hours, while the bath cools. It is
then wrung out and slightly washed.

The following gives the relative proportions of the various substances
containing tannin:--1 lb. tannic acid _equals_ 4 lbs. sumach, 18 lbs.
myrobalans, 14 lbs. divi-divi, 11 lbs. oak galls.

_Examples from various recipes_:

For 10 lbs. cotton use 12 ozs. tannic acid.
 "  50  "     "     "  10 lbs. sumach.
 "  40  "     "     "  10 lbs.    "
 "  20  "     "     "   2 lbs. yellow (or black) catechu.
 "  20  "     "     "   3 lbs. catechu with 3 ozs. blue vitriol.

Some recipes soak the cotton 24 hours, others 48.



Take 3 oz. well ground indigo, mix into a paste with hot water. Slake
3 oz. Quicklime and boil with 6 oz. Potash or Soda ash in sufficient
water, let it settle, pour off the clear liquor in which dissolve the
indigo paste, boil or keep hot 24 hours; it should then have the
consistency of thick cream, with much froth. During the boiling, slake
another 3 oz. quicklime, boil in a pint of water for 15 minutes, let
settle, pour off the clear liquor in which dissolve 4 to 5 oz. green
copperas. Add the indigo and copperas solutions to 5 gallons water,
stir well, let vat rest, stir once or twice during 24 hours or until
it appear ready for dyeing. Before use it should be stirred and let
stand 2 hours. It should be a clear yellowish green with much scum.

The cotton to be dyed should be entered in dips of increasing lengths
of time, as 1, 5, 10, 20 minutes, and aired in between, according to
depth of shade required. It should then be well washed, passing
through water slightly acidulated with Sulphuric acid (a teaspoonful
to 1 gallon). When this vat appears exhausted and turns a dark colour
it may be revived by adding 2 or 3 oz. Green Copperas dissolved as
before. When again exhausted, more of all the ingredients must be


2 oz. Indigo, 4 oz. Copperas, 5 oz. Quicklime (fresh). Mix Indigo into
a paste with hot water. Dissolve copperas in hot water. Slake lime.
Fill earthenware jar with about 5 gallons cold water and add the
Indigo, copperas and slaked lime in that order. Stir well, cover and
let stand till next day or until vat is in proper condition; it should
be clear brownish yellow with possible blue scum. There will be some
sediment. The dyeing process is as in (1).

(3) RED

(For 1 lb. cotton.) The Turkey Red process is long and difficult. (1)
Boil yarn 6 to 8 hours in a solution of carbonate of soda, 1-1/2 oz.,
wash well and dry. (2) Prepare a solution of 2 fluid ozs. Turkey Red
oil, 2 ozs. carbonate of soda at 100°F., work cotton in this till
thoroughly saturated, wring out, dry. (3) Repeat No. 2. (4) Repeat No.
2. (5) Steep 3 or 4 hours in solution of 1 oz. carbonate of soda at
100°F., wring out, dry. (6) Repeat No. 5 with a slight increase of
soda. (7) as No. 6. (8) Steep 10 hours in water at 100°F., dry. The
cotton should now be clear white. (9) Steep 4 hours in solution of
1-1/2 oz. tannic acid or 4 oz. Galls, at 100°F., wring out, dry. (10)
Steep 24 hours in solution made by dissolving 10 oz. alum in hot
water, and slowly adding 2-1/2 oz. carbonate of soda crystals, wring
out and dry. The cotton is now grey coloured. (11) Dye with 2 lbs.
madder. Bring slowly to the boil, boil for 1 hour, a white scum on the
surface denotes the cotton has absorbed all its colour. A teaspoonful
of chalk may be added to the dye-bath. The cotton is now dark claret
colour. (12) To brighten, boil 3 or 4 hours in a solution of 1/2 oz.
carbonate of soda crystals and 1/2 oz. soap. The bath should be
covered, except for a small outlet for the steam which otherwise
should be retained as much as possible. (13) The cotton can be further
brightened by boiling with 1/2 oz. soap and a teaspoonful of Tin. Wash
and dry.

(4) RED

(For 1 lb.) After boiling out in soda, wash and dry. Steep overnight
in a hot bath of 1-1/2 oz. Tannic acid or 4 oz. Galls, dry, steep in
cold solution of 1/4 lb. alum and 1/2 oz. chalk, dry, add 2 oz. more
alum to solution and steep as before, wash and dry. Dry with 12 oz.
Madder, bring to boil in 1 hour and boil a few minutes, rinse, re-dye
as above, pass through warm soap bath, 2 oz., wash and dry.


(For 1 lb.) Mordant twice in Aluminium acetate, as described for silk
(page 73), or in 1/4 lb. alum and 1-1/2 oz. chalk, steeping in cold
solution. Pass through weak bath of chloride of lime, wash, dry. Dye
with 2-1/2 lbs. weld and 1/2 oz. copper sulphate, boil for 1 hour,
then boil with soap. Or dye with 2 to 3 oz. Quercitron, which should
be brought slowly to the boil and boiled for a few minutes only.


(For 1 lb.) Steep overnight in hot bath of 1-1/2 oz. Tannic acid, or 4
oz. Galls, wring out, dry. Work 2 hours in bath of 1/4 lb. alum and
1/2 oz. chalk, dry, pass through weak bath of chloride of lime about 1
oz., dry. Return to alum bath and repeat process, wash well, dye
slowly with 1-1/2 oz. Flavin.


(For 1 lb.) Boil 2 oz. Annatto with 1 oz. carbonate of soda crystals
for 1/2 hour, then add to a bath containing a teaspoonful of Turkey
Red Oil, boil for 10 minutes. Take off boil, enter yarn, boil for
1-1/4 hours, let cool to hand heat, remove yarn, wash slightly and dry


(For 1 lb.) Enter in one bath 1 oz. Cutch, in another 1/2 oz. Chrome.
Enter cotton in cutch bath, boil 20 minutes, wring out, boil 10
minutes in chrome bath. Add 6 oz. fustic or 1 oz. flavin to cutch
bath, re-enter cotton. Repeat above until the required depth of colour
is reached, finish in cutch bath to obtain deepest shade, which may be
darkened by adding 1 drachm or so copper sulphate. A greyish drab may
be got by adding ferrous sulphate. All shades of brown may be obtained
by decreasing or increasing the amount of cutch or by adding a little
logwood or fustic, in which latter case the cotton should have been
previously mordanted.


(For 1 lb.) Wash, steep overnight in hot solution of tannic acid, 1
oz., wring out without washing, work for 10 minutes in soda bath, at a
temperature of 50° to 60°C., 1-1/4 oz. Wring out, work in cold
solution of copperas, 1-1/4 oz., for 1/2 hour, return to soda bath for
1/4 hour. Wash, dye in bath of logwood 12 oz., madder 2-1/2 oz., and
fustic 8 oz. Enter into cold bath and raise gradually to boiling, boil
for 1/2 hour, pass through warm solution of chrome, 1 oz., wash, work
through warm soap bath.

Greys may be obtained with 1 to 5 per cent of logwood after mordanting
in a weak solution of iron.


_The Zinc-lime Indigo Vat._ It will be necessary to explain these
words--Indigo blue is insoluble and cannot be used for dyeing. If
however it is "reduced" or changed to indigo white, it has, while it
is in this form, an affinity for vegetable and animal fibre. These
fibres will take it up from the solution and retain it. If they are
then exposed to the air, the oxygen acts upon the indigo in the fibre
and turns it back again to indigo blue. Various chemicals can be used
to reduce indigo blue to indigo white. I propose to describe how the
work is done with zinc dust and lime as reducing agents.

In course of time the word "vat" has been transferred from the dyeing
vessels themselves to their contents; _i.e._, the indigo dye liquor.
By "vat," therefore, we understand not only the vessel used for dyeing
indigo, but the solution of alkali salts of indigo white in water.
This definition distinguishes the _indigo vat_ completely from indigo
extract, or any other improper purposes to which indigo may be put.

The zinc lime indigo vat is better than any other for dyeing cotton
and linen. It is also very good for dyeing silk. It has many
advantages over the hydrosulphite vat, as it is not nearly so much
affected by changes of temperature and weather. It can be put to work
after a six months' rest.

The disadvantage which it shares with the copperas vat, though in a
less degree, is that there is a sediment which must not touch the
stuff during the dyeing. This is avoided by hanging a net in the vat
after the sediment has settled, or by dipping the skeins on rods.

It is essential that the indigo used should be of the best quality,
and ground to so fine a powder that it will float on water. Coarsely
ground indigo will never reduce and can be found at the bottom of the
vat unchanged. It should be so fine that no roughness is felt with the
tongue. Buy the best quality indigo ready ground, and if possible
mixed to a paste with water. A 20% paste, _i.e._ 20% of indigo and 80%
of water, is a usual quantity. If indigo powder must be used it must
be mixed to a paste very carefully, as it will, if properly ground,
fly about like dust. The easiest method of mixing is to pour the
required amount of boiling water into a jar (previously heated), then
put in the indigo. Close the vessel tightly. The steam which rises
will moisten the indigo so that it loses its tendency to fly about.
After 10 or 15 minutes it can easily be mixed with a stick. The zinc
dust should be dry and not caked.

_The lime_ should be in hard lumps. It should be bought from a
reliable chemist in a sealed container, and kept sealed till wanted.
If it is crumbling and cracking it has been exposed to damp air, and
is partly slaked already, and therefore more or less useless.

As the indigo is more quickly reduced in a concentrated solution, a
stock vat is first made and this is added to the dye vat as required.
The vessel for the stock vat should have a well-fitting lid. A
stoneware jar with a bung will do very well. To make a stock vat
sufficient to furnish a dye vat containing 15-20 gallons use:--

    10 oz. Indigo 20% paste (or 2-1/2 oz. indigo pasted with
      7-1/2 oz. of water),
    1-1/2 oz. zinc dust,
    4-5 oz. quick lime,
    4-5 pints of water.

Mix the zinc dust to a paste with a little of the water, gradually add
the indigo and the rest of the water. The heat of the water should be
not less than 160°F. as it will cool while the lime is being
prepared. Slake the lime in a separate vessel by pouring about 5 oz.
of water over it. When it begins to hiss and break, add more water
little by little. When all the lumps have cracked up stir till a thick
even cream is made. Add this to the other ingredients in the stock
vat. Stir well. The stock vat should have a temperature of 120-140°F.
It should be stirred at intervals. The vessel should be stood in hot
water to keep the temperature as near 120°F. as possible. In about 5
hours the mixture has a pure yellow colour and is ready to add to the
dye vat. (There is of course a blue-black scum of indigo on top.)

_Preparation of the dye vat._ The vessel used should be deep and
upright so that an unnecessarily large surface is not exposed to the
air, and a sufficient space for dyeing is obtained above the sediment.
A galvanised dust bin, or a barrel (provided it is not of oak or any
other wood which contains tannin), make good indigo vats. Put 16
gallons of water in the vat at a temperature of 65-70°F. In order to
counteract the effects of the atmospheric oxygen contained in the
water of the vat, additions of zinc dust and lime are made some hours
before the stock solution is added. A pinch of zinc dust and an ounce
of lime, previously slaked, should be added and the vat stirred.
Stirring must always be done gently and smoothly, every effort being
made not to take air into the vat. At the same time it must be stirred
up from the bottom so that the sediment is mixed with the liquor above
it. The best tool for this purpose is a broom stick, to one end of
which a piece of wood is nailed, like a garden rake. When all is
ready, carry the stock solution to the dye vat, and, to avoid
splashing through the air, hold it in the water of the vat while
gently pouring out half its contents. Stir up the vat and cover it
until it shows a clear yellow colour under the surface of the scum.
This may not happen for 24 hours. A good way to test the colour of the
vat is to push back the scum with the edge of a saucer or plate, then
dip it halfway into the liquor. Against its white surface the colour
of the liquor will be plainly seen. It should look like good light
ale. If the liquor is greenish and sufficient time has elapsed,
another pinch of zinc dust and a little more lime must be added as
before, and the vat again stirred, allowed to settle and again tested.
A little difficulty may be found in getting the vat to start, but once
it has worked well no difficulty will be found in starting it again.
It will work more easily as it gets older.

As indigo does not penetrate easily, every effort must be made to help
it to do so. The stuff to be dyed must be thoroughly scoured so that
no particle of grease, size, or any other impurity is present. Every
effort must be made to prevent unreduced indigo from attaching itself
to the cotton. Never begin to dye in a vat which is greenish. The
unreduced indigo will attach itself to the stuff and be wasted. Your
time will also be wasted in washing it off.

The vat should be thoroughly stirred and allowed to settle each day
before dyeing begins. When the sediment has settled, the froth should
be carefully skimmed and kept to return to the vat when the day's
dyeing is finished.

If a net is to be used it should be thoroughly wetted (if everything
goes into the vat wet it will take less air with it). The net can be
kept down by tying a few stones in a bag or an iron weight to the
centre of it. If the hanks are to be dipped on a rod this may be of
iron, or of wood suitably weighted. The hanks should not be less than
8 inches below the surface of the liquor and about 1 ft. above the
bottom of the vat. The hanks should be turned after each dip, as, if
the same end goes to the bottom each time it will be darker. A pulley
over the vat to draw out the rod or net is convenient. The dyeings can
then be allowed to drain a few seconds. Then wring each hank, shaking
it out to get the air into it. After a sufficient airing, dip again.
Many short dips with airing between will produce faster colours. Dip 1
minute, wring and air 2 minutes. Dip 2 minutes, wring and air 4
minutes. Dip 5 minutes, and so on.

As linen and cotton look so very much darker when wet than when dry, a
bit should be dried to judge if the colour is right.

Indigo can be dyed from the palest sky blue to black. The very palest
shade of sky blue is never very fast. The virtue which indigo alone
seems to possess is that, though it may become lighter with continual
use, it also becomes a clearer and more lovely blue. This is
especially so on cotton and linen, for which it is a superb dye. The
varying shades of indigo of butchers' coats, sailors' collars, and
French porters' blouses always give us pleasure.



Silk is covered with a natural gum which has to be removed before the
dyeing process can begin. This is done by boiling for one hour or more
in a bath containing soap, 2 to 8 ozs. to the pound of silk according
to the amount of gum on the silk. It is then well washed, and is ready
for mordanting.

The mordants mostly used are _Alum_, for most of the bright colours.
_Tin_, for brightening some colours, and as a separate mordant for
others. _Iron_, for black dyeing. _Chrome_, for certain browns such as

The principal Alum mordant is Acetate of Alumine, prepared as follows:
Let 3 lbs. Alum and 3 ozs. chalk be dissolved in 1 gallon of warm
water in an earthenware pan, add the chalk slowly to the Alum. Add 2
lbs. white acetate of lead, stir occasionally during 24 to 36 hours.
Let it remain 12 hours at rest. Decant and preserve the clear liquor,
being careful not to stir up the sediment. Pour 2 gallons of water on
the sediment, and stir occasionally for 12 hours. Let it rest 12
hours. Decant the clear and add to the first lot. Bottle for use. It
keeps about three weeks. Of the mordant 2 parts are diluted with 1 of
water, and the silk is well worked in this for 10 minutes, after being
wetted down. Steep for 12 hours, wring out and dry. Wet down again and
return to the Alum liquor, work for 10 minutes, steep 12 hours, dry.
When thoroughly dry, wash well in several changes of water before
dyeing. For less bright colours one mordanting may be sufficient.

The mordant is used for successive batches of silk until exhausted;
the fresher the mordant, the better for brighter colours. Silk should
be dyed as soon after it is dried as is convenient.

Another Alum mordant. Dissolve 25 per cent of Alum in hot water and
add 6 per cent carbonate of soda crystals. Fill up a jar with water
and steep silk in it over-night. It must be washed before dyeing.



Silk is dyed in a similar manner as described for wool, but requires
stronger vats and longer dips to obtain the same depth of colour. See
page 33.


Dye at a temperature of 40 to 50°C. with as much Indigo Extract
dissolved in the bath as is required for the desired depth of shade.
If the silk has been first mordanted with alum, compound colours can
be obtained by the addition of a red or yellow dye to the bath.


Mordant with Alum or Aluminium Acetate and dye with 40 to 50 per cent
Cochineal. A teaspoonful of Tin, dissolved in cold water, may be added
to brighten. Boil well. It is advisable to wash in soap after using
tin as it prevents the latter making the yarn brittle.


Mordant with Alum or Aluminium Acetate. Dye with 80 to 100 per cent
Madder and a handful of bran per pound of silk. Bring slowly to the
boil in 1 hour, boil a few minutes. It should be brightened by boiling
a short time in soap, with a little tin.


Mordant with Alum or Aluminium Acetate. Various Dyes may be used.
_Weld_: Dye with 150 per cent. _Flavin_: Dye with 1 oz. to the pound,
with a teaspoonful Tin. _Fustic_: Dye with 50 per cent, or more.
_Quercitron_: Dye with 10 to 20 per cent. A little chalk may be added
towards the end.

The shades may be varied by the addition of small quantities of madder
or cochineal. Orange may be obtained by the use of Madder, 2 to 4 ozs.
per pound, with Flavin or Fustic.


Greens may be obtained by dyeing with any of the yellow dyes and
blueing in the Indigo Vat or with Indigo Extract. If the colour is
thin, it should be dyed a deeper blue in the vat and then re-dyed with
yellow. A strong clear yellow is needed for a good green.


Dye silk blue in Indigo Vat. Then dye without mordanting in Cudbear.

(8) ORANGE (1 lb.)

Mordant with Alum Acetate. Dye with 1/2 lb. Madder, 2 ozs. Flavin and
1 oz. tin.

Enter the tin first in a cold bath. Mix Flavin and Madder into a paste
and add to the bath. Bring to the boil slowly, boil for 10 minutes.
Wash in soap.

(9) BLACK (1 lb.)

Mordant with Alum Acetate. Dye with 6 ozs. logwood, 3/4 oz. flavin, 1
oz. Iron. Mix all together and boil for 1/2 hour. Wash thoroughly.

(10) BLACK

    (1) Mordant with basic ferric sulphate and after allowing the
    silk to lie for some time, wash well and soap at 90°C.

    (2) Dye with 50 per cent Fustic, 10 per cent Ferrous Sulphate
    and 2 per cent Copper Acetate.

    (3) Dye with logwood 50 per cent and soap.

(11) GREY WITH BRACKEN (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1 oz. Iron and 2 ozs. Cream of Tartar. Boil a quantity of
young bracken tips for 1/2 hour. Strain. Boil silk in the decoction
for about an hour.

(12) BROWN WITH LICHEN (1 lb.)

Mordant with Alum Acetate. Put into the dye bath the quantity of
lichen according to required colour with about a teaspoonful of Acetic
Acid. Boil from 1 to 3 hours.

(13) ORANGE (1 lb.)

1 oz. tin, 1/2 oz. Oxalic Acid, 2 oz. Flavin. Enter silk and boil for
1 hour. Remove silk and add to the bath 1 oz. tin, 1 oz. Oxalic, 2 oz.
Cochineal. Boil for 1 hour or more.

(14) BLACK (1 lb.)

Mordant with 2 oz. logwood extract, 1-1/4 oz. fustic extract, 1-1/4
oz. iron, 1/2 oz. copper sulphate. Boil for 1 hour. Take out and
rinse. To the same bath add 1-3/4 oz. logwood extract, 1 oz. fustic
extract, 7 oz. madder. Enter silk and boil for 1 hour. Wash in soap.

(15) YELLOW (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1 oz. Bichromate of Potash. Boil 1 hour. In a separate
bath put 1 lb. weld and boil for 1 hour.

(16) RED (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1-3/4 oz. tin and 1-3/4 oz. oxalic acid. Boil for 1 hour.
Then add 3/4 lb. cochineal and 6 oz. madder. Boil well and wash in

(17) BROWN (1 lb.)

Mordant with 1 oz. Copper sulphate. Boil for 1 hour. Take out silk and
add 2-1/2 oz. madder, 1 oz. fustic chips, and boil for 1 hour.

(18) RED (1 lb.)

Dissolve 1 oz. Tannic Acid in hot water. Enter silk and leave for 24
hours, stirring occasionally. Rinse well in two waters. In a fresh
bath, put 4 oz. cochineal. Enter silk. Bring to boil and let blue
colour develop. Lift, and add 1 oz. cochineal & 1 oz. tin. Re-enter
silk & boil well. Wash in soap.


_Adjective Dyes._ Dyes which require mordant.

_Alizarin._ The chief colouring principle of madder. It is also the
name for an extensive series of chemical colours produced from
anthracene, one of the coal tar hydrocarbons discovered in 1868.

_Aniline._ Discovered 1826 (_anil. Span. indigo_). First prepared from
indigo by means of caustic potash, found in coal, 1834. Manufactured
on a large scale after Perkin's discovery of mauve in 1856.

_Annatta._ (Annotto, Arnotto, Roucou.) A dye obtained from the pulp
surrounding the seeds of the _Bixa orellana_; chiefly used in dyeing
silk an orange colour, but is of a fugitive nature.

_Argol._ The tartar deposited from wines completely fermented, and
adhering to the sides of casks as a hard crust. When purified it
becomes Cream of Tartar.

_Beck._ A large vessel or tub used in dyeing.

_Bois jaune._ Fustic, yellow wood.

_Carthamus._ Safflower, an annual plant cultivated in South Europe,
Egypt and Asia, for the red dye from its flowers.

_Caustic Soda._ Carbonate of soda, boiled with lime.

_Coal Tar Colours._ Colours obtained by distillation and chemical
treatment from coal tar, a product of coal during the making of gas.
There are over 2,000 colours in use.

_Detergent._ A cleansing agent.

_Dip._ Generally applied to immersing cloth, etc., in the blue vat.

_Divi-Divi._ The dried pods of _Caesalpina coriaria_ growing in the
West Indies and S. America; they contain 20 to 35% tannin and a brown
colouring matter.

_Dyer's Spirit._ Aqua fortis, 10 parts; sal ammoniac, 5 parts; tin, 2
parts; dissolved together.

_Enter._ To enter wool, to put it into the dye or mordant liquor.

_Fenugrec._ Fenugreek _Trigonnella fænugræcum_.

_Flavin._ A colouring matter extracted from Quercitron.

_Full, to._ To treat or beat cloth for the purpose of cleansing and
thickening it.

_Fuller's herb._ _Saponaria officinalis._ A plant used in the process
of fulling.

_Fuller's Thistle_, or teasle. _Dipsacus fullonum._ Used for fulling

_Fustet._ Young fustic. Venetian Sumach _Rhus cotinus_. It gives a
fine orange colour, which has not much permanence.

_Galls, Gall nuts._ Oak galls produced by the egg of an insect,--the
female gall wasp. An excrescence is produced round the egg, and the
insect, when developed, pierces a hole and escapes. Those gall nuts
which are not pierced contain most tannic acid. The best come from
Aleppo and Turkey.

_Gramme_ or _Gram_. About 15-1/2 grains (Troy).

_Kilo. Kilogramme._ Equals 2 lbs. 3.2 oz.

_Litre._ Nearly 1-3/4 pints.

_Lixivitation._ The process of separating a soluble substance from an
insoluble by the percolation of water.

_Lixivium._ (Lye.) A term often used in old dye books, water
impregnated with alkaline salts extracted by lixivitation from wood

_Lye_ or _Ley._ Any strong alkaline solution, especially one used for
the purpose of washing such as soda lye, soap lye.

_Mercerised Cotton._ Cotton prepared by treating with a solution of
caustic potash or soda or certain other chemicals. Discovered by John
Mercer in 1844.

_Milling._ The operation of fulling cloth.

_Myrobalans._ The fruit of several species of trees, growing in China
and the East Indies, containing tannic acid (25-40% tannin).

_Oil of Vitriol._ Sulphuric acid.

_Organzine._ Twisted raw silk from best cocoons, used for warp.

_Pearl Ash._ Carbonate of potash.

_Persian Berries._ The dried unripe fruit of various species of
Rhamnus. Also called French berries, grains of Avignon.

_Potassium Carbonate._ (Potashes.) Carbonate of potash has been known
since ancient times as a constituent of the ashes of land plants, from
which it is obtained by extraction with water. In most cases Sodium
Carbonate, which it strongly resembles, can be used in its place.

_Red spirits._ Tin Spirits. Applied to tin mordants generally. A
solution of Stannous chloride.

_Red woods._ Camwood, Barwood, Sanderswood (Santal, Sandal, Red
Sanders), Brazil wood, Sapan wood, Peach-wood.

_Roucou._ Anatta, Arnotto.

_Saxon blue._ The dye made by indigo dissolved in oil of vitriol.

_Scotch ell._ 37.2 inches.

_Scour, to._ To wash.

_Scroop._ The rustling property of silk.

_Soda ash._ Carbonate of soda.

_Sour water._ To every gallon of water, add one gill vitriol; stir
thoroughly. Stuff steeped in this should be covered with the liquor,
otherwise it will rot.

(2) Water in which bran has been made to grow sour. 24 bushels of bran
are put in a tub, about 10 hogsheads of nearly boiling water is poured
into it; acid fermentation soon begins, and in 25 hours it is ready to

(3) Throw some handfuls of bran into hot water and let it stand for 24
hours, or until the water becomes sour, when it is fit for use.

_Staple._ A term applied to cotton and wool indicating length of

_Substantive Dye._ A dye not requiring a mordant.

_Sumach._ Leaves and twigs of several species of Rhus, containing
tannic acid. It is sold in the form of crushed leaves or as a powder
(15-20% tannin).

_Tram._ Slightly twisted raw silk, used for weft.

_Tyrian purple._ A purple colour obtained from certain shell fish,
such as Buccinum and Purpura. It is mentioned by Pliny as being
discovered in 1400 B.C. It was a lost art in the Middle Ages.

_Valonia._ Acorn cups of certain species of oak from South Europe,
containing 25-35% of tannic acid.

_Vegetable alkali._ Potash.

_Verdigris._ Acetate of copper.

_Wet out, to._ To damp before putting the yarn or cloth into the dye.


A profitable Boke. (On Dyeing.) Translated from the Dutch. 1583.

Bancroft, Edward. The Philosophy of Permanent Colours. 1794.

Berthollet. The Art of Dyeing. 1824.

Bird, F. J. The Dyer's Handbook. 1875.

Bolton, Clement. A Manual of Wool Dyeing. 1913.

Boulger, Professor G. S. The Uses of plants. 1889.

Brewster's Edinburgh Encyclopædia. 1830. Dyeing.

Crook, W. Dyeing and Tissue Printing. 1882.

Darwin and Meldola. Woad. ("Nature," Nov. 12, 1896.)

Edge, Alfred. Some British Dye Lichens. (Journal of the Society of
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Edmonston, T. "On the Native Dyes of the Shetland Islands."
(Transactions of Botanical Society of Edinburgh, Vol. 1, 1841.)

English Encyclopædia. Dyeing. 1802.

Francheville. On Ancient and Modern Dyes, 1767. (Royal Academy of
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Haigh, James. The Dyer's Assistant. 1778.

Hellot, Macquer, M. le Pilleur D' Apligny. The Art of Dyeing Wool,
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Processes. 1907.

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Knecht, Rawson and Lowenthal. A Manuel of Dyeing. 1893.

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Mackay, Mrs. Anstruther. Simple Home Dyeing.

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(Congested Districts Board for Ireland.)

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Crafts Exhibition Society, 1903.)

Morris, William. "The Lesser Arts of Life." (from Architecture,
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Napier, James. A Manual of Dyeing Recipes. 1855.

Napier, James. A Manual of the Art of Dyeing. 1853.

Parnell's Applied Chemistry.--Article on Dyeing.

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Rawson, Gardiner and Laycock. A Dictionary of Dyes, Mordants. 1901.

Sansome. "Dyeing." 1888.

Sims, T. Dyeing and Bleaching. (British Manufacturing Industries.

Smith, David. The Dyer's Instructor. 1847.

Smith. Practical Dyer's Guide. 1849.

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The Art of Dyeing. (Translated from the German. 1705. Reprint, 1913.)

The Dyer and Colour Maker's Companion. 1859.

Thomson, John M. The Practical Dyer's Assistant. 1849.


Acacia, 40

Acetate of Alumina, 46, 56

Adjective dyes, 6, 60

Agrimony, 12

Alder, 11, 14, 15, 40

Alizarin, 60

Alkanet, 12

Alpaca, 1

Alum, 7,
  for silk, 56,
  cotton, linen, 46

Ammonia, 2, 3, 32

Aniline, 60

Annotto, Anatta, Annatta, Arnotto, 4, 50, 60

Arcel, 21

Archil, 19

Argol, 60

Areca, 40

Ash, 12

Barberry, 12,
  for cotton, 4,
  for silk, 38

Barwood, 34, 62

Bearberry, 12

Beck, 60

Bedstraw, 11

Bichromate of Potash, 9

Birch, 11, 12, 14

Black, 29, 40-42
  dyeing plants, 15
  for cotton, linen, 51
  for silk, 58, 59
  from alder, 40
  from walnut, 41
  with logwood, 29

Blackberry, 15

Blaeberry, 12, 14

Blue, 24-30
  dyeing plants, 12
  from lichen, 21
    "  logwood, 29
    "  whortleberry, 12

Blue vitriol, 10

Bluestone, 10

Bog asphodel, 12

Bog myrtle, 12

Bois de Campeche, 28

Bois jaune, 60

Bracken, 12

Bran, 33, 57

Bramble, 12

Brazil woods, 34

Broom, 12

Brown, 40-42
  dyeing plants, 14
  for cotton, 50
  for wool from catechu, 40
  from alder bark, 40
    "  crotal, 19
    "  Iceland moss, 22
    "  lichens, 22
    "  madder, 33, 42
    "  onion skins, 41
    "  peat soot, 41
    "  walnut, 41

Brownish red, 14, 34

Bryony, 14

Buckthorn, 12

Camel hair, 1

Camomile, 13

Campeachy wood, 28

Camwood, 34, 62

Carbonate of Potash, 62

Carbonate of Soda, 60

Carthamus, 60

Catechu, 40
  for cotton, 46, 47, 50

Caustic potash, 28

Caustic soda, 25-28, 60

Centaury, 13

Chestnut, 47

Chrome, 9, 47, 56

Coal Tar Colours, 60

Coccus, 31, 32

Cochineal, 31

Copper, 10, 47

Copperas, 8, 9

Copper Sulphate, 10

Corydal, 13

Cotton, 4, 46-55
  mordanting, 46
  the colour of, 4

Crab Apple, 12

Cream of Tartar, 7, 10

Crimson--from cochineal, 32
  from lichens, 17, 21

Crottle, Crotal, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 23

Cudbear, 16, 20

Cutch, 40

Damson, 14

Danewort, 14

Dandelion, 14

Deadly nightshade, 14

Detergent, 60

Devil's Bit, 12

Dip, 60

Divi-divi, 47, 60

Dock, 12, 15

Dog's Mercury, 12

Dulse, 14

Dyer's Broom, 38

Dyer's Greenwood, 12

Dyer's Spirit, 60

Dyer's Woodruff, 12

Elder, 12, 14, 15

Felting, to prevent, 3

Fenugrec, Fenugreek, 13, 60

Ferrous sulphate, 8

Flavin, 38

Flax, 4

Fleece, various kinds of, 1

Flowering reed, 14

French brown, 42

Fuller's Herb, 61

Fuller's Thistle, 61

Fumitory, 13

Fustic, 36
  for green, 44

Fustet, 61

Gall nuts, 47, 61

Gamboge from lichen, 22

Golden rod, 13

Golden yellow from weld, 25

Gorse, 12

Gramme, 61

Green, 43-45
  black, 42
  dyeing plants, 13
  from Fustic, 44
    "  Quercitron, 44
    "  Weld, 44
  with logwood, 29
    "  Indigo extract, 44, 45
    "  Indigo vat, 43
    "  Indigo Extract and weld, 44

Green Vitriol, 8

Greening weed, 43

Greenish brown, 42

Greenish black, 42

Grey, 30

Grey from Catechu, 40

Gromwell, 12

Hazel colour from Peatsoot, 41

Heath, 13

Heather, 11, 39

Hellebore, 13

Hematin Crystals, 42

Hogs, 2

Hop, 13, 14

Hornbeam, 13

Hydrochloric acid, 28

Hydrosulphite vat, 25-28

Iceland Moss, 18, 22

Indigo, 24

Indigo Extract, 25
  for green, 44, 45

Indigo Vats, 25-28
  for cotton, 48
  for cotton (zinc-lime), 51
  for green, 43, 44, 45
  Improvement of, 27

Indigo White, 27

Indigotine, 27

Iris, 11, 12, 15

Iron, 8, 9
  for cotton, 47
  for silk, 56

Iron filings, 6

Kashmir wool, 1

Kermes, Kerms, 31

Kilo, 61

Korkalett, 17

Korkir, 20

Lady's Bedstraw, 11, 12

Lamb's fleece, 1

Larch, 14

Lavender, 29

Lemon yellow from fustic, 36
  from lichen, 20

Lesser Dye, 29

Ley, 61

Lichen dyes, 14, 16-23
  list etc., for dyeing, 20-22

Lilac with cochineal, 32

Lily of the Valley, 14

Lima wood, 34

Lime, 52

Linen, 4, 5

Ling, 13

Litre, 61

Lixivitation, 61

Lixivium, 61

Logwood, 20, 28-30

Lucerne, 13

Madder, 12, 32, 42

Marsh Marigold, 13

Meadow Rue, 13

Meadowsweet, 15

Mercerised cotton, 61

Milling, 61

Mimosa, 40

Mohair, 1

Mordants, 8-10
  for silk, 56
  for linen and cotton, 46

Muriate of Tin, 9

Myrobalans, 47, 61

Nettle, 13, 14

Oak, 14, 15

Oak bark, 41

Oak galls, 47

Oak lung, 23

Oak rag, 23

Oil of vitriol, 24, 61

Old gold from fustic, 36
  from weld, 35

Old fustic, 36

Olive from fustic, 36, 37
  from weld, 35

Olive green, 43

Onion skins, 14, 39, 41

Orange from annatta, 50
  from flavin, 38
  from lichen, 21, 22

Orange from weld, 36
  from turmeric, 37

Orchil, 16, 18

Organzine, 61

Orseille d'Auvergne, 20

Oxalic acid, 9

Peach wood, 34

Pear, 13

Pearl ash, 25, 61

Peat soot, 41

Persian berries, 42, 61

Pink from lichen, 20

Plum, 13

Plum colour from lichen, 17

Polygonum, 13

Poplar, 13

Potash, 62

Potassium Carbonate, 62

Potassium dichromate, 9

Potentil, 12, 13

Privet, 12, 13, 14, 39

Purple, from cochineal, 32, 33
  from lichen, 18, 20, 21
  from logwood, 30
  from whortleberry 14

Purple dyeing plants, 14

Purplish slate, 32
 from Brazil woods, 34
 from cochineal, 32

Quercitron, 37
  for cotton and linen, 48
  for green, 44

Ragweed, 13

Raven grey, 30

Red, 31-34
  from Brazil woods, 34
  from lichens, 20-23
  from madder, 33
  for cotton, 49, 50

Red brown, 34
  from alder, 40
  from lichen, 20
  from madder, 34

Red currant, 14

Red dyeing plants, 11

Red purple with cudbear and logwood, 20
  with logwood, 30

Red woods, 34

Retting, 4

Rose red, 33

Roucou, 60, 62

Saddening, 10, 40, 41, 47

Saffron from lichen, 23

Safflower, 4

Sanderswood, 34

Sandalwood, 34

Sapan wood, 34

Sawwort, 13

Saxon blue, 44, 62

Saxon green, 43

Scarlet (cochineal), 32

Scarlet of grain, 32

Scotch ell, 62

Scouring agents, 2-3

Scroop, 62

Scrottyie, 17, 21

Sheep, various kinds of, 1-2

Silk, mordants, 56
  the dyeing of, 57
  preparation of, 3, 56
  various kinds, of 3

Slate purple, 32

Sloe, 12

Soap for scouring, 2

Soda, 2

Soda ash, 62

Sodium carbonate, 62

Sour water, 62

Sorrel, 11

Spanish wool, 1

Spindle tree, 13

Stachys, 13

Staple, 62

St. John's wort, 13

Stannous chloride, 9

Substantive dye, 6, 11, 18, 37, 62

Sulphuric acid, 24

Sumach, 7, 40, 48, 62

Sundew, 13, 14

Sweet willow, 13

Tan, 42

Tan colour fr. lichen, 19

Tannin, 47

Tannic acid, 47

Teasel, 13

Terra cotta (lichen), 19

Tin, 9, 47, 56

Tin crystals, 9

Tin salts, 9

Tousch, 22

Tram, 62

Trefoil, 13

Turkey red oil, 49

Turmeric, 37

Tyrian purple, 62

Valonia, 47, 63

Vegetable alkali, 63

Verdigris, 11, 63

Vetch, 13

Vicuna, 1

Violet from elder, 14

Walnut, 11, 14, 40

Water, 2

Water lily, 14

Wayfaring tree, 13

Weld, 13, 35
  with copper, 35
  for green, 44

Wet out, to, 63

Wethers, 2

Whortleberry, 12, 14

Willow, 13

Woad, 12, 25

Wool, 1-3
  colour of, 1
  method of dyeing, 3
  to wash, 2
  various kinds of, 1, 2

Yellow, 35-39
  for cotton (weld), 50
  for linen (lichen), 19
  for silk, 57
  from weld, 35
    dyer's broom, 38
    fustic, 37
    heather, 39
    lichen, 19, 22, 23
    privet, 39
    quercitron, 38
    sumach, 41

Yellow brown from lichen, 16
  from sumach, 41

Yellow dyeing plants, 12-13

Yellow green, 43

Yellow weed, 43

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

Original spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, and punctuation
have been retained from the original book except for the following

   Page 3: Repeated "in" deleted. (3rd.--The wool is boiled with
           the mordant and dye in the same bath together.)

   Page 18: Added closing quote to blockquote (luster to the

   Page 25: Changed comma to period after ozs. (12 fluid ozs. of

   Page 34: The period was removed after 28 per cent for

   Page 34: The typographical error "w ash" was changed to "wash."

   Page 50: Under (5) YELLOW: "described for silk (page 73)", the
            reference to page 73 could possibly be referring to
            page 56, mordanting silk in general, or to page 57,
            where mordanting of yellow is detailed.

   Page 65: (Index): Crottle, Crotal: The duplicate page 20 was

   Page 66: (Index): Lixiviation was changed to Lixivitation.

   Page 68: Color was changed to colour (Tan colour fr. lichen) for

   A space has been added before each lb. and oz. and the space
   removed between ° and F. or C. for consistency.

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