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Title: A Book on Vegetable Dyes
Author: Mairet, Ethel M.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
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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Transcriber's Note:

  Inconsistent hyphenation and spelling in the original document have
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     A BOOK ON


     A.D. 1916


     Price 5s. net.



     _Sc. Joannem_ 1.1.

     _Genesis._ 1.31.

MAN uses these good things, and when MAN first discovers how to make
anything, that thing which he makes is good.

For example: this book is printed upon one of the first iron presses
to be made in this country. The press is a good press; it would be
difficult to make a press which would enable the printer to print more
clearly. The wooden press was a good press & the printing from it has
not been surpassed.

Further, this quality of goodness of a first discovery may persist for
many years.

But there is a tendency to avoid _Quality Street_. We are choosing
rather _Quantity Street_ & the Bye paths of _Facility & Cleverness_;
we have become accustomed to the hum of the _Time & Labour saving_
machinery; and we are in danger of forgetting the use of good things:
indeed the tradition & practice of goodness has been lost in a
considerable number of trades.

For instance: a carpenter has become so used to buying his timber in
planks from a yard that he has nearly forgotten its relation to the
tree. The man who works to designs conceived by somebody else with
wood sawn by another man's machine must be deprived of the natural
strength of the tree.

And this is not an exception to, but an example of, the way we are
choosing to do things.

It is impossible to buy linen as good as that normally used by every
tradesman in the XVIII century. It is nearly impossible to get cloth,
paper, bread, beer, bacon and leather equal to that in common use 150
years ago.

IN VIEW OF THE BEGINNING it is desirable to record what still survives
of the traditions of making good things; and I shall endeavour to
publish the instructions & advice of men & women who still follow
these good traditions.

     Douglas Pepler.


     I.    INTRODUCTION                        1
     II.   WOOL, SILK, COTTON AND LINEN       11
     III.  MORDANTS                           24
     IV.   BRITISH DYE PLANTS                 37
     V.    THE LICHEN DYES                    45
     VI.   BLUE                               63
     VII.  RED                                87
     VIII. YELLOW                            107
     IX.   BROWN AND BLACK                   122
     X.    GREEN                             133


Dyeing has almost ceased to exist as a traditional art. In this 20th
century the importance of colour in our lives seems to be realized
less and less. It has been forgotten that strong and beautiful colour,
such as used to abound in all every day things, is an essential to the
full joy of life. A sort of fear or nervousness of bright colour is
one of the features of our age, it is especially evident in the things
we wear.

There is unfortunately good reason for it. We fear bright colour
because our modern colours are bad, and they are bad because the
tradition of dyeing has been broken. The chemist has invaded the
domain of the dyer, driven him out and taken over his business, with
the result that ugly colour has become the rule for the first time in
the history of mankind. It is not that chemists never produce
beautiful colour. Dyeing as a chemical science has not been studied
for the last 50 years without producing good results. But there is
this great difference between the chemical commercial dyes and the
traditional dyes--that with the commercial dyes it is very easy to
produce ugly colours, the beautiful colour is rare; but with
traditional dyes it is difficult to make an ugly colour, and good
colour is the rule.

It was in 1856 that mauve was produced from coal tar by an English
chemist, and this began a new era in dyeing. The discovery was
developed in Germany, and the result was the creation of a science of
chemical colouring.

The advantages of the new colours were ease and simplicity of use,
general reliability with regard to strength and composition, and
certainty in reproducing the same colour again without trouble. With
regard to fastness, to light and to washing there is practically
little difference between the two. It is more the method by which they
are dyed and not the dye itself (although of course in some cases
this is not so) that determines their fastness. The natural dyes are
more trouble and take longer time to prepare. Chemical colours can be
dyed now as fast as the natural colours, although at first this could
not be done. Some of the chemical colours as well as the natural, are
not fast to light and washing, and ought never to be used; but there
are natural colours, such as madder, some of the lichens, catechu
etc., which are as fast as any chemical dye, if not more so. BUT there
is this general difference between the results of the two
methods,--that when a chemical colour fades it becomes a different
colour and generally a bad one: when a natural colour fades, it
becomes a lighter tone of the same colour.

Since the middle of the 19th century our colour sense has been getting
rude shocks. At first came the hideous aniline colours, crude and
ugly, and people said, "How wonderful, are they really made out of
coal!" They were told to like them and they did, and admired the
chemists who made them. Then came more discoveries, and colour began
to go to the opposite extreme, and the fashion was muddy
indeterminate colours--'art' colours as they were called, just as
remote from pure good colouring in one direction as the early aniline
colours were in the other. We are now emerging from the mud colours,
as I would call them, to the period of the brilliant colouring of the
Futurist. Here we have scientific colouring used with real skill. The
Futurist has perhaps indicated a possible way in which chemical
colours may be used by the artist and is teaching people the value of
simple combinations of brilliant colour.

And yet do they satisfy the artist? Are they as beautiful as the
colours in a Persian Khelim? Is there a blue in the world as fine as
the blue in a Bokhara rug, or a red to touch the red of a Persian
brocade or Indian silk?--the new fresh colours as they come out of the
dyer's vat, not as they are after years of wear and tear, though that
is beautiful enough. And yet they are not more beautiful than the
colours once made by dyers in England. They are as brilliant as the
chemical colours, but they are not hard and unsympathetic and
correct. They are alive and varied, holding the light as no chemical
colour can hold it; and they are beautiful from their birth to their
old age, when they mellow, one with the other, into a blend of
richness that has never yet been got by the chemical dyer and never
will be.

Perhaps it is the scientific method that kills the imagination.
Dealing with exactly known quantities, and striving for precise
uniformity, the chemist has no use for the accidents and
irregularities which the artist's imagination seizes and which the
traditional worker well knew how to use.

William Morris says that "all degradation of art veils itself in the
semblance of an intellectual advance," and nothing is truer than this
with regard to the art of dyeing. As a tradition it is practically
dead in Britain, and is threatened with gradual extinction all over
the world. It will not recover itself as an art till individual
artists set themselves to make beautiful colours again, and ignore the
colour made for them by commerce and the chemists.

Handicraft workers should make their own colours. Leather workers
should dye their own leather, the embroiderers their own silks and
wools, the basket makers their own materials, the weavers and spinners
their own flax, cotton and wool; and until they do this the best work
will not be done. This is the necessity for the present. _If any craft
worker wants sound colour he must make it for himself, he cannot get
it done for him by artists._ The hope for the future is that dyeing
may be reinstated as a craft, co-operating with the other crafts and
practiced by craftsmen.

The way to beauty is not by the broad and easy road; it is along
difficult and adventurous paths. Every piece of craft work should be
an adventure. It cannot be an adventure if commerce steps in and says
"I will dye all your yarn for you; you will always then be able to
match your colour again; there need be no variation; every skein shall
be as all the others; you can order so many pounds of such a number
and you can get it by return of post; and you can have six or seven
hundred shades to choose from." It is all so easy, so temptingly
easy,--but how DULL! the deadly yards of stuff all so even and so
exactly dyed; so perfect that the commerce-ridden person says, "this
is almost as good as the stuff you can buy in a shop, it is as perfect
as machine made stuff."

What would have been the use of all this to the great colourists of
the world, the ancient Egyptians, the mediæval Italians or the great
Oriental dyers? They could not get six hundred shades to order; six
was more like their range, they did not need more, and in those they
could not command precise uniformity. They knew that the slight
variations caused by natural human methods add to the beauty and
interest of a thing, and that a few good colours are worth any number
of indifferent ones.

It is quite certain that a great many of the handicrafts that have
depended upon commercial dyes would produce _infinitely better work_
if they dyed their raw material themselves.

It may be objected that life is not long enough; but the handicrafts
are out to create more life, not out to produce quantity nor to save

The aim of commerce is material gain; the aim of the crafts is to make
life, and no trouble must be spared to reach that end. It must always
be before the craft worker. Dyeing is an art; the moment science
dominates it, it is an art no longer, and the craftsman must go back
to the time before science touched it, and begin all over again.

The tradition is nearly lost in England.

It lingers in a few places in Scotland and Ireland. In Norway, Russia,
Central Asia, India and other places where science has not entered too
much into the life of the people, it is still practiced. Is dyeing as
a tradition to be doomed, as traditional weaving was doomed? Yes,
unless it be consciously studied again and remade into an art.

This book is intended for the use of craftsmen and others who are
trying to dye their materials by hand and on a small scale.
Information and recipes, useful to such workers, are to be found in
books and pamphlets dating onwards from the 17th century, and in this
book I have drawn largely upon these sources of dyeing knowledge, as
well as upon the traditions still followed by present workers, and
upon the experience of my own work.

All dyeing recipes, however, should guide rather than rule the worker;
they are better applied with imagination and experience than with the
slavishness of minute imitation. Every dyer should keep a record of
his experiments, for this will become invaluable as it grows, and as
one thing is learnt from another. The ideal way of working is not by a
too rigid accuracy nor by loose guess-work, but by the way which
practice has proved best: nevertheless, some of the greatest dyers
have done their work by rule-of-thumb methods just as others have
certainly worked with systematic exactness.

The dyer, like any other artist, is free to find his own methods,
subject to the requirements of good and permanent craftsmanship,
provided that he achieves the effects at which he aims. But it is
supremely important that he should aim at the right effects; or,
rather, at the use of the right materials, for if these are right the
effects may safely be left to take care of themselves. In order to
develop the taste and temperament of a good colourist, it is necessary
to use good colour and to live with good colour. In this book I
attempt to show where good colour can be obtained. But one may begin
to live with good colour which has been found by others.

This part of the dyer's education is not prohibitively costly, even in
these days of inferior colour. Indian and Persian embroideries are
still to be obtained, though care must be taken in their selection, as
most modern pieces are dyed with chemical dyes and are very ugly.
Persian Khelim rugs are cheap and often of the most beautiful colours.
Russian embroideries and woven stuffs, both old and new, are
obtainable, and are good in colour, as are most of the embroideries
and weavings of Eastern Europe and the East. What are popularly known
as "coffee towels" are often embroidered in the finest coloured silks.
Bokhara rugs and embroideries are still to be purchased, and many of
the weavings of the far East, although, alas, very few of the modern
ones are of good colour. I would say to dyers, do not be satisfied
with seeing beautiful coloured stuffs in museums. It is possible still
to get them, and to live with a piece of good colour is of much more
use than occasional hours spent in museums.



     Various kinds of wool. Wool from goats. Fleeces. Wool
     dyeing. Scouring of wool. Silk, preparation for dyeing.
     Cotton, cleansing and galling of. Indian methods of
     preparing cotton and linen for dyeing. BANCROFT on the
     preparing of cotton and linen for dyeing. Linen. On water
     for dyeing.

ON WOOL.--The quality of wool varies considerably. British 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, Blackfaced, Limestone,
Cheviot) have better wool, especially the Cheviot which is very thick
& 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 in.) and the fleeces weighing up to 12 lbs. The
Leicester fleece is softer, finer and better than the 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 obtained from different species
of South American goats.

_Mohair_ is obtained from the Angora goat of Asia Minor.

_Kashmir_ wool is got from the Thibetan goat.

_Camel_ hair is the soft under wool of the camel, which is shed
annually. It is of a brown colour.

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.

Fleeces are of various kinds, the principal being: _Lambs_, 3 to 6
months growth, the finest, softest and most elastic of wool. _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 impurities. 2)
_Washed_, with some of the grease removed and fairly clean. 3)
_Scoured_, thoroughly cleaned & all grease removed.

ON WOOL DYEING.--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. This method of dyeing is the most satisfactory and
gives brighter and faster colours than the other methods. It is not
necessary to throw away the solution after the mordanting has been
done, but it can be replenished for a fresh lot of wool; a separate
bath is used for 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. This is called the "stuffing" and
"saddening" method; the "stuffing" being the boiling of the wool with
the dye stuff and the "saddening" the fixing the colour by the

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 & 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
(saddened). This method is adopted to ensure an extremely fast colour.
The mordant in this case should be used rather sparingly.

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
always 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 take the colour unevenly.

The principal detergent known from earliest times is stale urine. In
the Highlands this is used in the proportion of 1 part to 5 of water.
It is the best scouring agent and leaves the wool soft and elastic.
Carbonate of soda is also used. But a good pure soap is the most
convenient scouring agent. A suds should be made with hot water, and
the wool, which has been soaked in warm water previously, should be
well squeezed and worked in the suds till all the grease is removed.
This should be done two or three times if needed, and then the wool
rinsed out thoroughly in clean water. Soda is apt to make the wool
harsh and should be avoided. A little Ammonia added to the washing
water helps.

To prevent yarn felting when it is scoured, it should be first steeped
in hot water and left to cool. Soft soap is best for long fine wool.
Urine for short wools; or urine and soda ash.

_Another way of cleansing wool._ Make a hot bath of 4 parts water and
1 part urine, enter wool, teasing it and opening it out to admit the
full action of the liquid. After 20 minutes immersion, remove and
allow to drain. Then rinse in clear running water and allow to dry.
Use no soap. The liquid can be used again. The wool often loses one
fifth of its weight in the process of washing.

_To soften yarn_--In a gallon of hot water dissolve half pound of
common soda, then add half-pint of sweet oil and stir well. A little
of this added to the washing water, for some colours, will soften the

_To bleach wool_--The wool is suspended in a closed room on hoops, and
under the wool chafing dishes are placed with lighted coals on which
powdered sulphur is cast. The room door is afterwards shut so that the
smoke may be the longer retained to act on the wool, which is to
remain until it is entirely whitened.

ON SILK.--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. They are 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 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 that 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 a low temperature.

_Of the preparation of raw silk._ For every pound of raw silk, take
¼ lb. of soap; first put the silk into a bag, or so make it up that
tangling may be prevented, then let it boil together for 2 hours,
after which it must be very well cleansed, and so it is ready to dye
all sorts of colours, being first allomed.[1]

_How the boiled silk must be allomed._ In proportion to every pound of
silk, take ¼ lb. of Allom, melt in a little kettle or skillet, and
when melted, throw it in to a tub of water, into which put the silk to
steep, where let it lie a whole night.[1]

_To soften silk after dyeing._ Into a large vessel nearly full of
water, a solution of soap is poured, in the proportion of from 4 to 5
lbs. of soap for every 110 lbs. of silk. The solution of soap is
strained through a cloth into the water and well mixed. The silk is
then introduced & left for about quarter of an hour after which it is
wrung out and dried.

ON COTTON.--Cotton is the down surrounding the seeds in pods of
certain shrubs and trees growing in tropical and semi-tropical
countries. It was first introduced into Europe by the Saracens and was
manufactured into cloth in Spain in the early 13th century. Cotton
cloth was 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. Cotton is difficult to dye and
requires a special preparation. It is first boiled with water till
thoroughly softened and wetted. Then alumed in the proportion of 1 of
alum to 4 of the cotton (see page 28). It is then galled. The galling
is done with different proportions of gall-nuts and other astringents
(such as tannic acid, myrobalams, sumach, catechu) according to the
quality of the astringents and the effect wished to be obtained. If
gall-nuts are used they are bruised, then boiled for about two hours
in a quantity of water. The bath is then allowed to cool till the hand
can bear it. The cotton is worked well in this solution and then left
for 24 hours. After which it is wrung out and dried.

Cotton is sometimes boiled in sour water in order to cleanse it:
sometimes an alkaline ley is used: the cotton must be boiled in it for
2 hours, then wrung out and rinsed in clean water and dried. Cotton
dyeing has been carried on for centuries in the East. In India "before
a cloth is ready to be dyed with a fast colour, it has generally to
undergo a preliminary process of preparation more or less elaborate,
the different stages of which may be recited as washing, bleaching,
dunging, galling, aluming, or mordanting, and again washing." (_A
Monograph on dyes and dyeing in the Bombay Presidency_, by C. G. H.
Fawcett, 1896.) It is washed first of all to remove all impurities,
whether those naturally belonging to the fibre or those purposely
introduced during the processes of spinning and weaving. The bleaching
removes grease, etc. This is done in India by the sun, air and
moisture. The dunging process consists of passing the cotton through a
hot solution of cow dung, which renders the dye fast. This is
sometimes replaced by substitutes, such as the phosphates of soda and
lime, silicates of soda, etc. The next operation of galling is an
important step in the Indian process of dyeing. It is applied to
cotton, linen and silk. Vegetable infusions containing tannin are
applied to the cloth. Those mostly used are myrobalams, pomegranate
rind, tamarisk galls, and pistachio galls. The cloth is then alumed,
washed, and is then ready to be dyed.

_Bancroft_ says:--"The fibres of linen or cotton when spun or woven
are prepared for the dyer by being first boiled in water with a
suitable proportion of potash (which for linen should be made caustic,
in order that it may act more strongly upon the oily and resinous
matters abounding in flax) and afterwards bleached by exposure upon
the grass to sun and air. But as this operation commonly leaves a
portion of earthy matter in the linen or cotton, it ought to be soaked
or steeped in water soured by sulphuric acid, to dissolve and remove
this earthy matter, taking care afterwards to wash or rinse off the

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
catechu, fustic, logwood.

ON LINEN.--Linen is flax, derived from the decomposed stalks of a
plant of the genus of 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.

"Linen thread is dyed in the same manner as cotton, only, that
previous to its being purged like cotton thread, it is usual to boil
it in water, adding for every pound of thread a quarter pound of
chopped sorrel. Oil of vitriol is, however, more convenient and better
than sorrel."--D'Apligny.

_To Bleach Linen._--(For 13 to 15 yards linen) Boil ½ lb. soap and
½ 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 for 3
weeks. Your linen is then pure white.

_To bleach linen a cream colour._--Boil ½ lb. soap and ½ 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

ON WATER.--A constant supply of clean soft water is a 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 altogether injurious for wool. It
ruins the brilliancy of 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.

_Berthollet_ says,--"Whenever, therefore, a water is limpid, when its
flow is constant, when it has no sensible taste, and dissolves soap
well, it may be regarded as very proper for dyeing." He also goes on
to say that for correcting water that is bad, sour water is
principally used, that is, water in which bran has been fermented.


[1] From a dye book of 1705.



     Definition of mordant. The principal mordants. The
     mordanting of silk and wool. Of linen and cotton.
     Astringents for cotton. Alum. Various examples of using
     alum for wool, silk, cotton and linen. Iron. Examples of
     iron mordants. Tin. Examples of tin mordants. Chrome.
     Examples of chrome mordants. Copper. Examples of copper
     mordants. General observations. Tannin and the galling of
     cotton and linen. Examples of various galling processes.

MORDANTS.--Dyes are divided into two classes. First, the _substantive_
dyes, which give their colour directly to the material with which they
are boiled: and second, the _adjective_ dyes, as they are sometimes
called. These latter include the greater number of dyes and require
the use of a mordant to bring out their colour.

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 fibres, 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 "that 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 parts 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 for long ages. Stale urine is also
much used in Scotland and Ireland, but perhaps more as a clearing
agent than as an actual mordant.

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.

ALUM. (_Aluminium sulphate._)--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 used is a quarter of a pound
to every pound of wool. As a rule, less mordant is needed for light
colours than for dark. An excess of alum is apt to make the wool

"For dyeing worsted and stuffs yellow, you make use of the usual
preparation, viz., of tartar and alum. You allow four ounces of alum
to every pound of wool, or twenty-five pounds to every hundred. With
regard to the tartar, one ounce to every pound is sufficient for
yellow, though it requires two for red."--Hellot.

The usual length of time for boiling with alum is from ½ an hour to 1
hour; but some dyers give as much as 2½ hours.

_Various examples of mordanting with alum._--

_For silk._ Wet out the silk thoroughly with water and wring out. Then
work it about a little in a strong solution of alum, previously
dissolved in hot water, and steep for several hours (or over night).
Then wash well. It should not be allowed to dry before dyeing. "Silks
are always alumed in the cold, because when they are alumed in a hot
bath, they are apt to lose a portion of their lustre." _Berthollet._

_For wool._ ¼ 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 cool place
for four or five days, when it is ready for dyeing.

_For cotton and linen._ After boiling in water (some use a sour water,
some an alkaline ley) the cotton is put into the alum bath, ¼ lb. of
Alum to 1 lb. of cotton. The alum is dissolved in hot water with soda
in the proportion of 1 part soda to 16 of alum. (Some add a small
quantity of tartar and arsenic). The cotton is well worked in this
solution and left 24 hours. It is then washed, and afterwards galled.

_For linen._ ¼ lb. alum for every pound of linen. Boil for 2½ hours
and immediately put into the dye bath.

_For wool._ 6 to 8 per cent. of alum and 5 to 7 per cent. of tartar of
the weight of wool.

IRON. (_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. With wool it
should be used in combination with cream of tartar. 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 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. If used for cotton, the cotton is first dyed in a
boiling decoction of the dye stuff and then passed through a cold
solution of ferrous sulphate. Probably the commonest way of applying
copperas in cotton dyeing is to prepare the cotton with tannin, pass
through clear lime water and then through a copperas solution. 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.

Copperas is mostly used for the fixing of wool colours (Fustic etc.)
to produce brown shades by the "stuffing and saddening" method (see
page 14), the wool being boiled first in a decoction of the dye for
about an hour, and then for ½ 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

_Examples of various proportions for Mordanting._--

8 per cent. of copperas and 20 per cent. of cream of tartar is a
mordant used for some colours.

4 per cent. copperas, 10 per cent. cream of tartar gives good olive
colours with weld.

8 per cent. copperas without tartar with single bath method, for dark
olive brown with old fustic.

2 oz. copperas and 2 oz. cream of tartar to 2½ lbs. wool.

2 oz. copperas, 1½ oz. oxalic acid to 2½ lbs. wool.

TIN.--(_Stannous chloride_, _tin crystals_, _tin salts_, _muriate of

Tin is not so useful as a mordant in itself, but as a modifying agent
with other mordants. It must be always 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 mordanting 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 proportion of 6 per cent. of stannous chloride
and 4 per cent. of cream of tartar. Boil for 1 to 1½ hours. Then wash
well. The washing after mordanting is not always essential. Also 6 to
8 per cent. of oxalic acid and 6 per cent. of stannous chloride, for
cochineal on wool. This mordant produces bright fast yellows from old
fustic, by boiling the wool from 1 to 1¼ hours, with 8 per cent. of
stannous chloride and 8 per cent. of cream of tartar. One recipe
gives 2 oz. tin and 4¼ oz. cream of tartar to 2½ lbs. wool in 10
gallons of water. It is not a suitable mordant alone for cotton, but
can be used to brighten the colour in combination with other mordants.
"The nitro-muriate of tin (dyer's spirit) although it produces good
yellows with quercitron bark, produces them in a much weaker degree
than the murio-sulphate of that metal, which is really the cheapest
and most efficacious of all the solutions or preparations of tin for
dyeing quercitron as well as the cochineal colours."-- _Bancroft._

CHROME. (_Potassium dichromate_, _Bichromate of Potash._)

Chrome is a modern mordant, unknown to the dyer of 50 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. In
commercial dyeing it is now almost exclusively used, as it has proved
itself the most generally convenient. By some it is said not to be so
fast to light as the other mordants, but it produces brighter colours.
The wool should be boiled for one to one & a half 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. One recipe gives
1½ oz. of chrome to 2½ lbs. of wool. 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 three quarters
of an hour.

In the dyeing of cotton, it is used for catechu browns and other
colours. The cotton is soaked in a decoction of catechu, and
afterwards passed through a boiling solution of chrome, or it is
worked for half an hour in a bath of chrome at 60°C., and then washed.
It is usual to wash wool or cotton after mordanting with chrome, but
some dyers do not think it necessary.

COPPER. (_Copper Sulphate_, _Verdigris_, _blue vitriol_,

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 methods\.

EXAMPLES.--6 per cent. of copper is used as a mordant for weld to
produce an olive yellow. 4 to 5 per cent. is used with old fustic for
yellow. 10 per cent. of copper gives to wool a reddish purple with

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

TANNIN.--(_Tannic Acid_.)--Tannins are used in the dyeing of cotton
and linen. Cotton and linen possess the remarkable power of attracting
tannins from their aqueous solution, and when these substances are
prepared with tannins, 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 cotton and
linen, 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. of tannin), catechu.

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. tannin _equals_ 4 lbs. sumach, 18 lbs.
myrobalans, 14 lbs. divi-divi, 11 lbs. oak galls.

A few examples taken from various recipes of cotton dyeing:--

     For 10 lbs. cotton use 12 oz. tannin.
     For 50 lbs. cotton use 10 lbs. sumach.
     For 40 lbs. cotton use 10 lbs. sumach.
     For 20 lbs. cotton use 2 lbs. yellow catechu or black catechu.
     For 20 lbs cotton spend 3 lbs. of catechu with 3 oz. of blue

Some recipes soak the cotton for 24 hours, others for 48 hours.



The introduction of foreign dye woods and other dyes during the 17th
and 18th centuries rapidly displaced the native dye plants, except in
certain 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 the 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 Barberry, and some of the lichens, are substantive dyes, and
require no mordant.


     Potentil. _Potentilla Tormentilla._ Roots.

     Wild Madder. _Rubia peregrina._

     Lady's Bedstraw. _Galium verum._ Roots.

     Gromwell. _Lithospermum arvense._

     Marsh Potentil. _Potentilla Comarum._ Roots.

     Birch. _Betula alba._ Fresh inner bark.

     Bed-straw. _Galium boreale._ Roots.

     Common Sorrel. _Rumex acetosa._ Roots.

     Evergreen Alkanet. _Anchusa sempervirens._ With chloride of tin.

     Dyer's Woodruff. _Asperula tinctoria._ Roots.


     Woad. _Isatis Tinctoria._

     Whortleberry or blaeberry. _Vaccinium Myrtillus._ Berries.

     Elder. _Sambucus nigra._ Berries.

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

     [2]Sloe. _Prunus communis._ Fruit.

     Red bearberry. _Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi._

     Dogs Mercury. _Mercurialis perennis._

     Yellow Iris. _Iris Pseudacorus._ Root.

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


     Weld. _Reseda luteola._

     Meadow Rue. _Thalictrum flavum._ Roots.

     Marsh Marigold. _Caltha palustris._ Flowers.

     S. John's Wort. _Hypericum perforatum._

     Heath. _Erica vulgaris._ With Alum.

     Spindle tree. _Euonymus Europæus._

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

     [3]Dyer's Greenwood. _Genista tinctoria._ Young shoots and leaves.

     Kidney Vetch. _Anthyllis Vulnararia._

     Marsh Potentil. _Potentilla Comarum._

     Ling. _Calluna vulgaris._

     Yellow Centaury. _Chlora perfoliata._

     Hornbeam. _Carpinus Betulus._ Bark.

     Hedge stachys. _Stachys palustris._

     Polygonum Persecaria.

     Polygonum Hydropiper.

     Hop. _Humulus lupulus._

     Stinking Willy, or Ragweed. _Senecio Jacobæa._

     Yellow Camomile. _Anthemis tinctoria._

     Common dock. _Rumex obtusifolius._ Root.


     _Serratula tinctoria._

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

     Broom. _Sarothamnus scoparius._

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

     Way-faring tree. _Viburnum lantana._ Leaves, with alum.

     Bramble. _Rubus fructicosus._

     Nettle. _Urtica._ With alum.

     Bog Myrtle or Sweet Gale. _Myrica Gale._

     Teasel. _Dipsacus Sylvestris._

     Sundew. _Drosera._

     Barberry. _Berberis vulgaris._ Stem and root.

     Bog asphodel. _Narthecium ossifragum._

     Agrimony. _Agrimonia Eupatoria._

     Yellow corydal. _Corydalis lutea._

     Privet. _Ligustrum vulgare._ Leaves.

     Crab Apple. _Pyrus Malus._ Fresh inner bark.

     Ash. _Fraxinus excelsior._ Fresh inner bark.

     Pear. Leaves.

     Poplar. Leaves.

     Plum.  Leaves.

     Birch. Leaves.

     [5]Willow. Leaves.


     Privet. _Ligustrum vulgare._ Berries and leaves, with

     Flowering reed. _Phragmites communis._ Flowering tops,
     with copperas.

     Elder. _Sambucus nigra._ Leaves with alum.

     Nettle. _Urtica dioica_ and _U. Urens_.

     Lily of the valley. _Convalaria majalis._ Leaves.

     Larch. Bark, with alum.


     Whortleberry. _Vaccinium Myrtillus._ Young shoots, with
     nut galls.

     Larch. Pine needles, collected in Autumn.

     Walnut. Root and green husks of nut.

     Water Lily. _Nymphæa alba._ Root.

     Alder. _Alnus glutinosa._ Bark.

     Birch. _Betula alba._ Bark.

     Oak. _Quercus Rohur._ Bark.

     Red currants, with alum.

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


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

     Deadly nightshade. _Atropa Belladonna._

     Sundew. _Drosera._

     Bryony. _Bryonia dioica._ Berries.

     Danewort. _Sambucus Ebulus._ Berries.

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

     Dandelion. _Taraxacum Dens-leonis._ Roots. Dyes a magenta

     Damson. Fruit, with alum.


     Alder. _Alnus glutinosa._ Bark with copperas.

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

     Dock. _Rumex._ Root.

     Iris. _Iris Pseudacorus._ Root.

     Meadowsweet. _Spirea Ulmaria._

     Oak. Bark and acorns.

     Elder. Bark, with copperas.


[2] "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."

[3] "For giving very inferior yellow upon coarser woollens, the dyer's
broom, _genista tinctoria_, is sometimes employed, with the common
preparation of alum and tartar."

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

[5] "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 yellows 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 wool yellow is used in Canada. The seeds of the
purple trefoil, lucerne, and fenugreek, the flowers of the French
marigold, the chamomile, _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 P.
omphaloides, are largely used in the Highlands & 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 dye bath with a sufficient
quantity of water, boiled up and allowed to cool and 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 up with cold
water and bring to the boil, and boil till the colour is deep enough.
Some of the finest browns are got in this way. The wool does not seem
to be affected by keeping it in the dye a long time. A small quantity
of acetic acid put in 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 day 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 the colour of the lichen
itself, yellowish brown. In _Bancroft's_ "Philosophy of Permanent
Colours" is to be found the following--"Besides the lichens, whose
colour depends upon a combination with the ammonia, there are some
which afford substantive colours, less beautiful indeed, but more
durable, by merely boiling with water. One of these is the muscus
pulmonarius of Caspar Bauhine, or the lichenoides pulmonium
reticulatum vulgare marginibus peltiferus of Dillenius, called Rags
and Stone Rags, in the northern parts of England, which, without any
mordant, dyes a very durable dark brown colour upon white wool or
cloth, and a fine lasting black upon wool or cloth which has
previously received a dark blue from Indigo." The following occurs in
an old Scottish history.--"There is one excresence gotton off the
craigs which they call cork-lit, and make use thereof for litting, or
dyeing a kind of purple colour." Another lichen, taken from trees in
Scotland, was used for producing an orange tint, called Philamort. The
tree lichen was called wood-raw, or rags, to distinguish it from stone
lichen, or stone-raw. A deep red colour was got from the dull grey
friable lichen, common on old stone walls, which was scraped off, with
a metal scraper. 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. There is a difficulty, however, in getting
enough of this lichen to make the dyeing with it practicable.

The colour of the plant is no indication of the colorific power. That
is often greatly modified by the conditions of its growth,--such as
climate, elevation above the sea, nearness or distance from the sea,
age, season when gathered, habitat. The best season for gathering most
lichens, is late summer and autumn.

In Sweden, Scotland and other countries, the peasantry use a lichen,
called _Lecanora tartarea_, to furnish a red or crimson dye.

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. Immediately after being collected, an iron vessel
is filled with it, and stale urine then poured over it, till the
vessel is full. This is slowly boiled until the plant begins to assume
a mucillaginous appearance, which generally takes place in about 2
hours. When taken off the fire, it has the consistence of a thin
jelly, but it speedily hardens until it is nearly as thick as
porridge, and its colour becomes a dark rusty grey. It is then folded
in the cloth, layer by layer of Scrottyie and cloth alternately, and
all is boiled for about 20 minutes, in soft water, in which a little
alum has been dissolved. It is then taken off the fire and the cloth
washed in cold water, when the process of dyeing is complete. The
Scrottyie, taken from between the folds of the cloth, is used several
times for dyeing, on being treated again in the same manner.

The plant used in Shetland for the red dye is the _Lecanora tartarea_.
It is found abundantly on almost all rocks and also grows on dry
moors, along with _Cladonia sangiferina_. (If a particle of the latter
is allowed to be intermixed with the dye, it is supposed to be
spoiled.) The lichen, and the dye made from it, are called Korkalett.
This lichen is collected in May and June, and steeped in stale urine
for about 3 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 bluish black colour, is taken out and made into small cakes
of about ¾ 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 till of the consistence of Scrottyie, the dyeing proceeds in the
same manner; 5 lbs. of korkalett being considered sufficient for about
4 Scotch ells of cloth. The colour produced is a light red. It is
much used in the dyeing of yarn as well as cloth. The yarn is simply
boiled in it without folding as in the case of cloth.[6]

Linnæus mentions that a beautiful red colour may be prepared from
Lichen pustulatus, _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
& used for an orange colour for yarn.

_Lecanora tartarea_ (corcur of the Scottish Highlanders) dyes a
claret. It is usually prepared by pounding the lichen and mixing it
with stale chamberley, to which a little salt or kelp is added; this
mixture is kept for several weeks, and frequently stirred; being then
brought to the consistence of coarse paste, it is made up into balls,
with a little lime or burnt shells, and is kept ready for use. When
used, it is coarsely powdered and a small portion of alum is generally

A general method for using lichens is suggested by Dr. Westring of
Sweden, in his "Experiments on Lichens for Dyeing Wools and Silks." He

"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 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 ½ lb. 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."[7]

This method can be followed by anyone wishing to experiment with
Lichens. 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 mordant 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.

"Archil is in general a very useful ingredient in dyeing; but as it is
rich in colour, and communicates an alluring bloom, dyers are often
tempted to abuse it, and to exceed the proportions that can add to the
beauty, without, at the same time, injuring in a dangerous manner the
permanence of the colours. Nevertheless, the colour obtained when
solution of tin is employed, is less fugitive than without this

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 Shetland Islands 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_; whilst
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. The ammonia used to be added in the form of stale
urine, and additions of slaked lime were made from time to time.[9]
The general mode of treatment for the development from the dye lichens
of orchil and cudbear consists of the following steps:--

     1.--Careful washing, drying and cleaning, to separate
     earthy and other impurities.

     2.--Pulverisation into a coarse or fine pulp with water.

     3.--Regulated addition of ammonia of a certain strength
     and derived from various sources (putrid urine, gas
     liquor, etc.)

     4.--Frequent stirring of the fermenting mass so as to
     ensure full exposure of every part thereof to the action
     of atmospheric oxygen.

     5.--Addition of alkalis in some cases (e.g. potash or
     soda) to heighten or modify the colour; and of chalk,
     gypsum and other substances, to impart consistence.
     Various accessories are employed, e.g. the application of
     continued, moderate and carefully regulated heat during
     the process of fermentation.[10]


_To dye Brown with Crotal._

For 6¼ lbs. (100 oz.) of wool. Dye baths may be used of varying
strengths of from 10 to 50 oz. 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 to make the bath
slightly acid will be an improvement. (A very small quantity should be

_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 1½ hours. No
mordant is required.

_To dye red purple from Cudbear & 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 and ½ 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, (¼ 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.



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

_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 & Glasgow.

_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.

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

_Isidium corallinum._ White crottle. Found on rocks in Scotland.

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

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

_U. Scruposa._ Rock Urceolaria. Grows on rocks in hilly districts in

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

_Parmelia 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.

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

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

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

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

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

_Borrera ashney._ Chutcheleera. India.

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

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

_Sticta pulmonacea._ On trees.

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

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

_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.


_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 to the Icelanders.

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

_P. omphalodes._ In Scandinavia and Scotland. Withering asserts that
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.

_Sticta pulmonacea._ Oak lung, Lungwort, Aikraw, Hazel-raw, Oak rag,
Hazel 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_.

_For continuation of list see Appendix._


[6] T. Edmonston. _On the Native Dyes of the Shetland Islands_ 1841.

[7] The _Annales de Chimie_. Stockholm Transactions 1792.

[8] The Art of Dyeing. _Berthollet._ He gives minute directions for
the preparation of Archil. See page 365.

[9] Some British Dye Lichens. _Alfred Edge._

[10] From Dr. W. L. Lindsay, On Dyeing Properties of Lichens.

[11] From an article by Dr. Lauder Lindsay on the "Dyeing Properties
of Lichens," in the _Edinburgh Philosophical Journal._ July to October




"Notwithstanding the very great facility of dyeing wool blue, when the
blue vat is once prepared, it is far otherwise with regard to the
preparation of this vat, which is actually the most difficult
operation in the whole art of dyeing."--Hellot.


Indigo is the blue matter extracted from a plant, _Indigofera
tinctoria_ & 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 by this method are more
permanent than the paler ones. 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 deoxydised indigo is
yellow, and in this state penetrates the woollen fibre; the more
perfectly the indigo in a vat is deoxydised, the brighter and faster
will be the colour. For the dyeing of wool, the vats are usually
heated to a temperature of 50°C. Cotton and linen are generally dyed

_Hellot_ says "when the vat, of whatsoever kind it be, is once
prepared in a proper state, there is no difficulty in dyeing woollens
or stuffs, as it is requisite only to soak them in clean warm water,
to wring them, and then to immerse them in the vat, for a longer or
shorter time, according as you would have the colour more or less
deep. The stuff should be from time to time opened, that is to say,
taken out and wrung over the vat and exposed to the air for a minute
or two, till it becomes blue. For let your vat be what it will, the
stuff will be green when taken out and will become blue when exposed
to the air. In this manner it is very proper to let the colour change
before you immerse your stuffs a second time, as you are thereby
better enabled to judge whether they will require only one or several
dips."--"The Art of Dyeing Wool," by _Hellot_.

The colour of the blue is brightened by passing the wool through
boiling water after it comes out of the dye. Indigo is a substantive
dye and consequently requires no mordant.


Put 2 lbs. of oil of vitriol into a glass bottle or jar, stir into it
8 oz. of powdered indigo, stirring briskly for ½ hour, then cover up
and stir 4 or 5 times a day for a few days, then add a little powdered
chalk to neutralise the acid. It should be added slowly, little by
little, as the chalk makes the acid bubble up. Keep it closely corked.


4 oz. sulphuric acid, ½ oz. finely ground Indigo. Mix like mustard,
and leave to stand over-night. Prepare the wool by mordanting with 5 oz.
alum to 1 lb. wool. Boil for ½ hour and dye without drying.


For 4 to 6 lbs. of wool. Stir 2 to 3 oz. of Indigo extract into the
water of the dye bath. The amount is determined by the depth of shade
required. When warm, enter the wool, and bring slowly to boiling point
(about ½ hour) and continue boiling for another ½ 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. This should be boiled up separately, strained, and
put in the bath before the wool is entered. Too much should be
avoided however, as it dims the colour. It can be done in the same
bath, but better results are got by separate baths. Instead of logwood
a little madder is sometimes used; also Cudbear or Barwood.


Dye at a temperature of 40 to 50°C. in a bath with a little sulphuric
acid and the amount of indigo as is needed for the colour. Another
method is to mordant the silk first with alum by steeping it for 12
hours in a solution of 25 per cent. and then, without washing, to dye
with the Indigo Extract and about 10% of alum added to the dye bath.
By this means compound colours can be made by the addition of
cochineal, for purple, or old Fustic, Logwood, etc., for greys, browns
and other colours.


Put into a glazed earthen pot 4 lbs. of good oil of vitriol with 12
oz. of choice Indigo, stir this mixture very hastily and frequently in
order to excite a fermentation. It is customary with some Dyers to put
into this composition a little antimony or salt-petre, tartar, chalk,
alum and other things, but I find it sufficient to mix the oil and
Indigo alone, and the colours will be finer, for those neutral salts
destroy the acid of the vitriol and sully the colour. In 24 hours it
is fit for use. Then a copper of a good size is to be filled with fair
water (into which one peck of bran is put in a bag) and made pretty
warm, the bran after yielding its flower must be taken out, and the
Chymie, (Indigo Extract) mixed well with water in a Piggin, (a small
pot) is put in according to the shade required, having first put in a
hand-ful of powdered tartar; the cloth is to be well wet and worked
very quick over the winch (stick on which it is hung) for half an
hour. The liquor must not be made hotter than for madder red (just
under boiling point). The hot acid of the vitriol would cause the blue
to incline to green if too much heat was given. (From an old Dye


Take 1 lb. Indigo thoroughly ground, put this into a deep vessel with
about 12 gallons of water, add 2 lbs. copperas, and 3 lbs. newly
slaked lime, and stir for 15 minutes. Stir again after 2 hours and
repeat every 2 hours for 5 or 6 times. Towards the end, the liquor
should be a greenish yellow colour, with blackish veins through it,
and a rich froth of Indigo on the surface. After standing 8 hours to
settle, the vat is fit to use.


Mordant with alum. For a pale shade use 1 teaspoonful of Indigo
Extract (see No. 2) for 1 lb. of wool. Boil ¼ hour.

8). BLUE FOR WOOL. (Highlands).

Take a sufficiency of Indigo. (For medium shade about 1 oz. to every
pound of wool). Dissolve it in about as much stale urine (about a
fortnight old) as will make a bath for the wool. Make it lukewarm. Put
in the wool and keep it at the same temperature till the dyeing is
done. For a deep navy blue it will take a month, but a pale blue will
be done in 3 or 4 days. Every morning and evening the wool must be
taken out of the dye bath, wrung out and put back again. The bath must
be kept covered and the temperature carefully attended to. Some add a
decoction of dock roots the last day, which is said to fix the blue.
The wool must then be thoroughly washed. This is a fast dye.

9). INDIGO VAT. (For small dyers).

Add to 500 litres of stale urine 3 to 4 kilos of common salt and heat
the mixture to 50° to 60°C., for 4 to 5 hours with frequent stirring,
then add 1 kilo of madder, 1 kilo of ground Indigo, stir well, and
allow to ferment till the Indigo is reduced.

10). SAXON BLUE. (_Berthollet_).

Prepare the wool with alum and tartar. A smaller or greater proportion
of the Indigo solution is put into the bath, (1 part of Indigo with 8
parts of sulphuric acid, digested for 24 hours), according to the
depth of shade wished to be obtained. For deep shades it is
advantageous to pour in the solution by portions, lifting out the wool
from the bath while it is being added. The cold bath acts as well as
the hot.


Take 4 lbs. of powdered Indigo and put it into a gallon of vinegar,
leaving it to digest over a slow fire for 24 hours. At the end of this
time the Indigo should be quite dissolved. If not dissolved pound it
up with some of the liquor adding a little urine. Put into it ½ lb.
madder, mixing it well. Then pour it into a cask containing 60
gallons of urine (fresh or stale). Mix and stir the whole together;
this should be done morning and evening for 8 days or until the
surface becomes green when stirred, and produces froth. It may be
worked immediately without any other preparation than stirring it 3 or
4 hours before-hand. This kind of vat is extremely convenient, because
when once prepared it remains so always until it is entirely
exhausted. According as you would have your vat larger or smaller you
reduce or enlarge the amount of the ingredients used in the same
proportion as the original. This vat is sooner prepared in summer than
in winter.


Have a strong 9 gallon cask, put into it 8 gallons of urine, have a 4
quart pickle jar, into which put 1 lb. ground Indigo and 3 pints of
best vinegar; put the jar into a saucepan filled with water, and make
it boil well for 2 hours, stirring it all the time. Let it stand in a
warm place for 3 days, then pour it into the cask; rake it up twice a
day for a month. It must be covered from the air.


For every 20 gallons of water add 5 oz. ground Indigo, 8 oz. of
potash, 3 oz. madder, and 4 oz. bran. Keep the solution at 140°F.;
after 24 hours the whole will have begun to ferment, then add 2 oz.
madder, stir and allow the whole to settle, after which the vat is
ready for use.

14). TO DYE INDIGO BLUE. Urine Vat.--

Prepare vat as follows:--To 3½ gallons of stale urine add 4½ oz. of
common salt, and heat the mixture to 125°F. (as hot as the hand can
bear). Keep at this heat for 4 to 5 hours, frequently stirring, then
add 1¼ oz. thoroughly ground Indigo and 1¼ oz. Madder, stir well and
allow to ferment till the Indigo is reduced. This is recognized by the
appearance of the vat, which should be of a greenish yellow colour,
with streaks of blue. Allow the vat to settle, when you can proceed
with dyeing. Process of dyeing the same as in No. 15.

15). TO DYE INDIGO BLUE.--Potash Vat.--

Into a pot 3 parts full of water put 1½ oz. Madder and 1½ oz. bran.
Heat to nearly boiling, and keep at this heat for 3 hours. Then add 5
oz. Carbonate of Potash; allow Potash to dissolve and let the liquor
cool down till luke-warm. Then add 5 oz. thoroughly ground Indigo,
stir well and leave to ferment for two days, occasionally stirring,
every 12 hours or so. Wool dyed in this vat must be thoroughly washed
after the colour is obtained.

_Process of Dyeing._--Into a vat prepared as above, dip the wool. Keep
it under the vat liquor, gently moving about a sufficient time to
obtain the colour required. A light blue is obtained in a few seconds,
darker blues take longer. Take out wool, and thoroughly squeeze out of
it all the dye liquor back into the vat. Spread out the wool on the
ground, exposed to the air till the full depth of colour is developed.
The wool comes out of the vat a greenish shade, but the oxygen in the
air darkens it, through oxydation, to indigo blue. The wool should now
be washed in cold water with a little acid added to it, and again
thoroughly rinsed and dried.


In a clean tub put 10 pails of water, slacken 1 bushel of lime into
it, and cover while slackening; put 6 lbs. ground Indigo in a pot and
mix it into a paste with hot water and then put 4 pails of boiling
water on to it, stir it, cover it, and leave it. In another pot, put
20 lbs. copperas, pour 4 pails of water on this, stir it and leave it
covered. Pour 4 pails of water on the top of the lime that is
slackening, rake it up well and put in the melted copperas; rake it
well and put in the Indigo; stir well and leave covered for a couple
of days, stirring occasionally. Half fill a new vat with the mixture.
Rake it well and while you are raking, fill it up with clean water,
continue raking for an hour. Cover it over; it can be used the next
day. This is a colour that never washes out.


Size 5 feet over the top: 7 feet deep, 6 to 7 feet at the bottom.

Take ½ cwt. bran, ¼ peck lime and 40 lbs. indigo. Warm up to 180 to
200°F., rake it 4 times a day. If it ferments too much add more lime:
if not enough, more bran. An experienced eye or nose will soon tell
when it is ripe or fit to use, which should be in about 3 days.
Regulate the strength of the vat from time to time to the colour
required. No madder or woad is used when much permanency is wanted.


1 part Indigo, 3 parts good quicklime, 3 parts English vitriol, and 1½
parts of orpiment. The Indigo is mixed with water, and the lime added,
stirred well, covered up, and left for some hours. The powdered
vitriol is then added, and the vat stirred and covered up. After some
hours the orpiment powder is thrown in and the mixture is left for
some hours. It is then stirred well and allowed to rest till the
liquid at the top becomes clear. It is then fit for dyeing.


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 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
9 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 blue.

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 Cæsar 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.[14]

"It is like the Indigo plant, but less delicate and rich. It is put in
vats with Indigo and madder to dye a never-fading dark blue on wool,
and was called woad-vats before Indigo was known." (Thomas Love). And
again "Woad, or what is much stronger, pastel, always dyed the blue
woollens of Europe until Indigo was brought over here."

Bancroft says "Woad alone dyes a blue colour very durable, but less
vivid and beautiful than that of Indigo."


(Bois de Campêche, 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 the old dyers, one of the Lesser Dyes, because
the colour loses 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 act is entitled "An Act
for the abolishing of certeine deceitful stuffe used in the dyeing of
clothes," and it goes on to state that "Whereas there hath been
brought from beyond the seas a certeine kind of stuff called logwood,
alias blockwood, wherewith divers dyers," etc., and "Whereas the
clothes therewith dyed, are not only solde and uttered to the great
deceit of the Queene's loving subjects, but beyond the seas, to the
great discredit and sclaunder of the dyers of this realme. For
reformation whereof, be it enacted by the Queene our Soveraygne Ladie,
that all such logwood, in whose handes soever founde, shall be openly
burned by authoritie of the maior." The person so offending was liable
to imprisonment and the pillory. This is quoted from "The Art of
Dyeing," by James Napier, written in 1853. He goes on to say, "Upwards
of eighty years elapsed before the real virtues of this dyeing agent
were acknowledged; and there is no dyewood we know so universally
used, and so universally useful." The principal use for logwood is in
making blacks and greys. The logwood chips should be put in a bag and
boiled for 20 minutes to ½ hour, just before using. "Logwood is used
with galls and copperas for the various shades of greys, inclining to
slate, lavender, dove, and lead colour, etc. For this purpose you fill
a cauldron full of clean water, putting into it as much nut galls as
you think proper. You then add a bag of logwood, and when the whole is
boiled, having cooled the liquor, you immerse the stuff, throwing in
by degrees some copperas, partly dissolved in water."--Hellot. Hellot
is very scornful of logwood, naming it as one of the lesser dyes, and
not to be used by good dyers.



After washing, work the cotton in a cold infusion of 30% to 40% of
Sumach, or its equivalent in other tannin matter[15] (ground gall
nuts, myrobalans, etc.) and let steep over-night. Squeeze out and
without washing pass through a bath containing a diluted solution of
lime water, or soda. Work in a cold solution of copperas for ½ hour,
then back into the soda for a ¼ hour at a temperature of 50° to 60°C.
Then wash. Dye in a freshly made bath of logwood with a small
proportion of old Fustic or Quercitron Bark. The cotton is introduced
into the cold dye liquor and the temperature gradually raised to
boiling. Boil for ½ an hour. After dyeing, the cotton should be passed
through a warm solution of Bichromate of Potash. (5 grains per litre).
It is then washed and worked in a warm solution of soap and dried.
More Fustic makes a greener black.

When catechu is the tanning matter employed, the cotton should be
worked in a boiling decoction of it and allowed to steep till cold.


(10 lbs.) Dissolve ½ oz. Bichromate of Potash in water, and then boil
for ½ hour; lift the wool and add 1 oz. logwood: boil for ½ hour. Lift
out, wash and dry.


The cotton is worked in a weak decoction of logwood at 40° to 50°C.,
and then in a separate bath containing a weak solution of ferrous
sulphate or Bichromate of Potash. Wash.


Mordant wool with 3% Bichromate of Potash and 1% Sulphuric acid (or
4% Tartar) for 1 to 1½ hours. Then wash and dye with 35% to 50% of
Logwood. This gives a blue black. It is greened by adding 5% old
Fustic to the dye bath. The more Fustic the greener the black becomes.
If 3% to 4% alum is added to the mordanting bath, a still greener
shade is obtained. Sulphuric acid in the mordant produces a dead
looking blue black. Tartar yields a bright bluish black.


Mordant the wool for 1 to 1½ hours at 100°C., with 4% alum and 4 to 5%
cream of Tartar. Wash well and dye for 1 to 1½ hours at boiling
point with 15 to 30% logwood and 2 to 3% chalk. This colour is not
very fast, but can be made faster by adding 1 to 3% bichromate of
potash and 1% sulphuric acid. The brightest logwood blues are
obtained by dyeing just below boiling point. Long boiling dulls the


Mordant with 2% Chrome and 25% sulphuric acid. Boil 1½ hours and
leave overnight. Dye with 40% logwood and 10% Fustic. Boil 1 hour.


Chrome 1%, Alum 3%, Tartar 1½%. Boil 1½ hours and leave over-night.
Dye with logwood 20% and Cudbear 1%. Boil one hour, then throw in 20
quarts of single muriate of tin, diluted with 20 to 30 gallons of
water. Immerse 15 minutes and wash.


(For 20 lbs. cotton.) Mordant with copperas. Wash slightly; then a
bath of muriate of tin. Dye with 4 to 5 lbs. logwood.


Put wool into a strong logwood bath, the stronger the better, and boil
for 1 hour. Take out and drain, and put into a Bichromate of Potash
bath and keep at 150°F. for about 5 minutes. Then a bath of Fustic or
Quercitron. After which wash well in cold water.


(For 10 lbs.) Steep cotton in hot decoction of 3 lbs. Sumach and let
stay over night. Wring out and work for 10 minutes through lime water:
then work for ½ hour in a solution of 2 lbs. copperas. It may be
either washed from this, or worked again through lime water for 10
minutes. Dye for ½ hour in a warm decoction of 3 lbs. logwood adding
½ pint chamber lye. Take out cotton and add to the same bath 2 oz.
copperas. Work 10 minutes, then wash and dry. 1 lb. Fustic is added
for jet black.


(For 50 lbs.) Mordant with 2 lbs. chrome, 1 lb. Tartar, 1 quart
Muriate of Tin. Boil 1 hour and wash well. Dye with 25 lbs. logwood
and 3 lbs. Fustic. Boil 30 minutes. Take out and add 1 pint Vitriol.
Return for 10 minutes, wash and dry.


(For 50 lbs.) Mordant in hot solution of Nitro-Sulphate of Iron at
150°F., work for ½ hour. Wash well, then boil up 18 lbs. Fustic. Put
off the boil, enter silk and work for 30 minutes. Take out. Boil 16
lbs. logwood, put off the boil and decant the liquor into fresh bath,
add 1 lb. white soap, enter and work from 30 to 40 minutes. Wash


(For 6¼ lbs.) Mordant with 3 oz. Bichromate of Potash, for 45 minutes
and wash. Dye with 2 oz. madder, 1 oz. 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


Mordant 6¼ lbs. wool with 4 oz. Chrome. Boil for 45 minutes. Dye with
50 oz. logwood, 1 oz. Fustic. Raise to boil and boil for 45 minutes.


(For 40 lbs. wool.) Dissolve 3 lbs. copperas and boil for a short
time. Then dip the wool in this for ¾ hour, airing frequently. Take
out wool and make dye with 24 lbs. logwood. Boil for ½ hour. Dip ¾
hour, air wool, dip ¼ hour longer and then wash in strong soap suds.


(For 50 lbs. wool). ½ lb. logwood, ½ lb. alum. Boil well and enter
wool and dip for 1 hour.


(Highland recipe). Mordant with 3% Bichromate of Potash and boil wool
in it for 1½ hours. Wash and dry wool. Make a bath of 15 to 20%
logwood with about 3% 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, or boiling it in heather till the desired
tint is obtained.


(For 50 lbs. wool). Boil 20 minutes with 1 lb. chrome. Dye with 20
lbs. Fustic, 8 lbs. logwood. Boil for ½ hour.


(For 80 lbs. yarn). Mordant with 2 lbs. chrome for 20 minutes. Dye
with 10 lbs. logwood & 1 lb. Cudbear. Boil for ½ hour.


(For 60 lbs.) Dissolve 8 oz. Alum and work the wool very quickly for
½ hour at boiling heat; then take it out and add to the same liquor 3
or 4 lbs. copperas, & work it at boiling heat for ½ hour. Then wash.
In another copper, boil 1 pailfull of logwood chips for 20 minutes. Put
the wool into this for ½ hour; then return it into the alum and
copperas for 10 to 15 minutes.


Mordant with 10 oz. alum and 2½ oz. cream of tartar for 1 hour. Let
cool in the mordant, then wring out and put away for 4 or 5 days in a
linen (or other) bag in the dark.

Dye with 1 lb. logwood, and ½ lb. 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 boil. Boil from ½ hour to 1½
hours. Wash thoroughly.


The silk is washed from the soap and drained. For every pound of silk,
dissolve in cold water 1 oz. verdigris; when it is well mixed with the
water, the silk is immersed and kept in this liquor for an hour. This
does not give colour. It is then wrung & aired. A logwood liquor is
then made; the silk dipped in it when cold; it takes a blue colour
sufficiently dark. The silk is taken out and dipped in a clear
solution of alum; it acquires a red which produces a violet on the
silk just dyed blue. The quantity of alum is undetermined; the more
alum the redder the violet. The silk is then washed.


(For 1 lb.) Mordant wool with ¼ lb. alum and ½ oz. tartar for 1 hour;
wring out and put away in a bag for some days. Dye with ¼ lb. logwood
for 1 hour.


[12] Early dyers were particular as to the naming of their colours.
Here is a list of blues, published in 1669.--"White blue, pearl blue,
pale blue, faint blue, delicate blue, sky blue, queen's blue, turkey
blue, king's blue, garter blue, Persian blue, aldego blue, and
infernal blue."

[13] I give here recipes for the simpler vats which can be used on a
small scale. The more complicated recipes can only be done in a
well-fitted dye house. I would refer the reader to those in "The Art
of Dyeing" by Hellot, Macquer and D'Apligny, and "Elements of the Art
of Dyeing" by Berthollet.

[14] Woad, pastel and Indigo are used in some dye books to mean the
same dye, and they evidently have very much the same preparation in

[15] See page 36.





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. It
is said to be still in use in Italy, Turkey, Morocco and other places.

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 dyed with it.

The following recipe for its use is from an old French dye book:--

20 lbs. of wool and ½ a bushel of bran are put into a copper with a
sufficient quantity of water, and suffered to boil half-an-hour,
stirring every now and then. It is then taken out to drain. While the
wool is draining the copper is emptied and fresh water put in, to
which is added about a fifth of sour water, four pounds of Roman Allum
grossly powdered and two pounds of red Tartar. The whole is brought to
boil, and that instant the hanks are dipped in, which are to remain in
for two hours, stirring them continually. When the wool has boiled two
hours in this liquor, it is taken out, left to drain, gently squeezed
and put into a linen bag in a cool place for five or six days and
sometimes longer. This is called leaving the wool in preparation.
After the wool has been covered for five or six days, it is fitted to
receive the dye. A fresh liquor is then prepared, and when it begins
to be lukewarm, take 12 oz. of powdered Kermes for each pound of wool
to be dyed, if a full and well coloured scarlet is wanted. If the
Kermes was old and flat, a pound of it would be required for each
pound of wool. When the liquor begins to boil, the yarn, still moist,
(which it will be, if it has been well wrapped in a bag and kept in a
cool place) is put in. Previous to its being dipped in the copper with
the Kermes, a handful of wool is cast in, which is let to boil for a
minute. This takes up a kind of scum which the Kermes cast up, by
which the wool that is afterwards dipped, acquires a finer colour. The
handful of wool being taken out, the prepared is put in. The hanks are
passed on sticks continually stirring and airing them one after the
other. It must boil after this manner an hour at least, then taken out
and placed on poles to drain, afterwards wrung and washed. The dye
still remaining in the liquor may serve to dip a little fresh parcel
of prepared wool; it will take some colour in proportion to the
goodness and quality of the Kermes put into the copper.

_Another Recipe for Dyeing with Kermes._--The wool is first boiled in
water along with bran for half-an-hour (½ bushel of bran for 20 lbs.
of wool) stirring it from time to time. Drain. Next boil for 2 hours
in a fresh bath with a fifth of its weight of alum and a tenth of
Tartar. Sour water is usually added. It is then wrung, put into a bag
and left in a cool place for some days. The Kermes is then thrown into
warm water in the proportion of 12 oz. to every pound of wool. When
the liquor boils, a handful of waste wool is thrown in, to take up the
dross of the Kermes, and removed. The wool is then put in and boiled
for an hour. It is afterwards washed in warm water in which a small
quantity of soap has been dissolved. Then washed and dried.

     "To prepare wool for the Kermes dye, it is to be boiled in
     water with about ⅕ of its weight in alum, and half as
     much of Tartar, for the space of two hours and afterwards
     left in the same liquor four or five days, when being
     rinsed, it is to be dyed in the usual way with about 12
     oz. of Kermes for every pound of wool. Scarlets, etc.,
     given from Kermes, were called grain colours, because that
     insect was mistaken for a grain. Wool prepared with a
     nitro-muriatic solution of tin (as is now practised for
     the cochineal scarlet) and dyed with Kermes takes a kind
     of aurora, or reddish orange colour."--Bancroft.


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



For each pound of wool put 20 quarts of water. When the water is warm,
add 2 oz. Cream of Tartar, 1½ drachms of powdered Cochineal. When the
liquor is nearly boiling, put in 2 oz. of Solution of Tin (which the
Dyers call Composition for Scarlet). As soon as it begins to boil, the
wool, which has been wetted, is dipped and worked in the liquor for an
hour and a half. A fresh liquor is then prepared, 1½ oz. of starch is
put in and when the water is warm 6½ drachms of Cochineal. When nearly
boiling 2 oz. of solution of tin is put in. It must boil, and then the
wool is put in and stirred continually for 1½ hours. It is then taken
out, wrung and washed. The Scarlet is then in its Perfection.


Prepare 50 lbs. of cotton with 15 lbs. Sumach, 10 lbs. Alum. Dye with
2¼ lbs. of Cochineal. Leave for 24 hours in the Sumach; lift; winch 2
to 3 hours in a hot solution of Alum; wash in two waters, then boil up
the cochineal; put off the boil, enter cotton & winch till colour be
full enough; then wash and dry.


     1). Mordant wool with Alum.

     2). Dye in a bath of weak Fustic. Wash and Dry.

     3). Put into cold water, Cream of Tartar, Tin, Pepper and
     Cochineal. When warm, enter the wool and boil.


(For 60 lbs. wool). 5 lbs. 12 oz. alum. Boil and immerse wool for 50
minutes. Then add 1 lb. Cochineal and 5 lbs. cream of tartar. Boil and
enter wool while boiling, till the required colour is got.


(For 100 lbs.) 6 lbs. of Tartar are thrown into the water when warm.
The bath is stirred briskly and when hot ½ lb. powdered cochineal is
added and well mixed. Then 5 lbs. of clear solution of Tin is
carefully mixed in. When it is boiling the wool is put in and moved
briskly. After 2 hours it is taken out, aired and washed.

The second bath. When the water is nearly boiling 5¾ lbs. of powdered
cochineal is put in. A crust will form on the surface which will open
in several places. Then 13 to 14 lbs. of solution of tin is poured in.
After this is well mixed, the wool is entered and stirred well. Boil
for an hour, then wash and dry.

These two processes can be done together with good result. The colour
can be yellowed by fustic or turmeric. More tartar in the second bath
increases the colour. The scarlet may be brightened by common salt.
Alum will change the scarlet to crimson, the wool being boiled in a
solution of it for one hour.


Mordant with 2½ oz. alum and 1½ oz. tartar for every lb. of wool. Then
dye with 1 oz. cochineal. Solution of tin is sometimes added. Also


Mordant with 2 oz. alum for 1 lb. wool. Dye with 1 oz. cochineal and 1
oz. of solution of iron in which the wool is kept till the shade is


(For 100 oz. clean wool). Put 6 oz. Oxalic acid, 6 oz. Stannous
Chloride (Tin Crystals), 8 oz. powdered cochineal in a bath containing
about half the quantity of water required to cover wool. Boil 10
minutes, then add sufficient water to cover wool. Enter the wool, work
well in the dye and boil for ¾ hour, after which take out the wool,
wash and dry.


(For 2½ lbs. wool). Mordant with Bichromate of Potash, 1½ oz. in 10
gallons of water. Dye with 6 to 8 oz. cochineal. With alum mordant (4
oz.) a crimson colour is got. With tin mordant (2 oz.) a scarlet. With
iron mordant (2 oz.) a purplish slate or lilac.


Mordant the wool for 1 to 1½ hours with 6% stannous chloride and 4%
cream of tartar. Wash. Dye with 5 to 12% of ground cochineal for 1 to
1¼ hours. To dye the wool evenly, enter it in both the mordant and the
dye when the water is warm, and raise gradually to boiling.


Fill the dye bath half full of water, add 6 to 8% of Oxalic acid, 6%
of stannous chloride and 5 to 12 per cent. ground cochineal, boil up
for 5 to 10 minutes, then fill up the dye bath with cold water.
Introduce the wool, heat up the bath to the boiling point in the
course of ¾ to 1 hour and boil ½ hour. Washing between mordanting and
dyeing is not absolutely essential. The addition of tartar up to 8 per
cent. increases the intensity and yellowness of the colour.

In order to obtain bright yellow shades of scarlet it is usual to add
a small proportion of some yellow dye to the bath.

Wool mordanted with 10 per cent. of Copper sulphate and dyed in a
separate bath with cochineal gives a reddish purple, or claret colour.

With ferrous sulphate as mordant very good purplish slate or lilac
colours can be got. Mordant and dye in separate baths. Use 8 per cent.
of ferrous sulphate and 20 per cent. of tartar.


Mordant the silk by working for ½ hour in a concentrated solution of
alum, then leave to steep over night. Wash well and dye in a fresh
bath containing 40 per cent. of cochineal. Enter the silk at a low
temperature and heat gradually to boiling.


After boiling and washing, the silk is first slightly dyed with yellow
by working it for ¼ hour at 50°C., in a weak soap bath containing
about 10 per cent. of Annatto; it is then well washed. Mordant the
silk by working it for ½ hour, then steeping it over night in a cold
solution of 40 per cent. of nitro-muriate of tin. Wash and dye in a
fresh bath with a decoction of 20 to 40 per cent. of cochineal and 5
to 10 per cent. cream of tartar. Enter the silk at a low temperature
and heat gradually to boiling. Brighten in a fresh bath of cold water,
slightly acidified with tartaric acid. Good results can also be
obtained with the single bath method with cochineal, stannous chloride
and oxalic acid.

With the use of iron mordants very fine shades of lilac may be
obtained on silk with cochineal.


Like Cochineal and Kermes, Lac is a small scale insect, _Coccus
lacca_. It is found in India, Burmah and other Eastern countries; it
was introduced into England in 1796.

The method of dyeing with lac is very much the same as with cochineal;
it yields its colour less readily however, and should be ground into a
paste with the tin solution employed and a little hydrochloric acid
and allowed to stand for a day before using. It is said to be a faster
dye than cochineal, but is often used in combination with it, being a
fuller colour though not so bright.

A good fast scarlet is produced by the following recipe:--For 100 lbs.
wool. 8 lbs. lac, previously ground up with part of the tin spirits, 5
lbs. cochineal, 5 lbs. tartar, 20 lbs. tin spirit.


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 not much used for silk dyeing, but for
wool, linen and cotton it is one of the best dyes. It is also used
largely in combination with other dyes to produce compound colours.
When used for cotton the colour is much improved by boiling in a weak
solution of soap after the dyeing. 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.

Berthollet distinguishes two kinds of madder red on cotton, one of
which is given in No. 4. The other is the well-known Turkey red or
Adrianople red, a very difficult and complicated dye, but one of the
most permanent dyes known. Madder reds are said to be not so beautiful
as those from Kermes, lac or cochineal, but my experience has been
that with care, the finest reds can be got with madder.

Birch leaves are used in Russia to improve the colour of madder. They
are added to the dye bath.



For 100 oz. (6¼ lbs.) wool.

Mordant 8 oz. Alum and 2 oz. Tartar. Boil the wool in the mordant for
one hour and wash in cold water. Dye: 50 oz. Madder. Enter the
mordanted wool, raise to boil and boil gently for one hour. Wash
thoroughly in cold water and dry. If the water is very soft, a small
quantity of lime or chalk added to the dye bath improves the shade.
Alder bark or alder leaves added to the dye bath darkens the colour.
The best results are obtained when the dye bath is maintained just
under the boiling point.


Mordant with 3% bichromate of potash and dye with Madder. Good
results can be got by the single bath method. (See page 14, No. 3.)


Mordant the wool with 6 to 8 per cent. of alum and 5 to 7 per cent. of
tartar. Dye with 60 to 80% of Madder. Begin the dyeing at about
40°C., and raise the temperature of the bath gradually to 80° to
100°C., in the course of an hour, and continue the dyeing about an
hour. Wash and dry. The colour can be brightened by adding a small
proportion of stannous chloride to the mordant or it can be added to
the dye bath towards the end of the dyeing.

Brighter shades are got by keeping the temperature at about 80°C., and
prolonging the dyeing process. After dyeing, the colour can be
brightened by working the wool at 70°C., in a weak soap bath, or a
bath containing bran.


(For 22 lbs.). The cotton must be scoured, then galled in the
proportion of 1 part of nut galls to 4 of cotton, and lastly alumed in
the proportion of 1 of alum to 4 of cotton. To the solution of alum is
added one twentieth of solution of soda ley (½ lb. ordinary soda to 1¾
pints water). It is then dried slowly and alumed again. Then dried
slowly again. The more slowly the drying takes place the better the
colour. The cotton is then ready to be dyed.

Heat the water of the dye bath as hot as the hand can bear; mix in
6½ lbs. madder and stir carefully. When thoroughly mixed, put in the
cotton & work for ¾ hour without boiling. Take it out & add about a
pint of soda ley. The cotton is then returned to the bath and boiled
for 15 to 20 minutes. It is then brightened by passing it quickly
thro' a tepid bath with a pint of ley in it. It is then washed and


For 1 lb. scoured fleece, mordant with 4 oz. alum and 1 oz. cream of
tartar. Dissolve the mordant, enter the wool and raise to boiling
point and boil for 1 hour. Allow the wool to cool in the mordant. Then
wring out and put in a linen bag in a cool place for 4 or 5 days. Soak
8 oz. madder over night in water and boil up before using. Put into
dye bath, enter wool when warm, bring gradually to the boil and boil
for ¾ hour.


Mordant 1 lb. wool with 5 oz. of Alum, and 1 oz. of Tartar; leave to
drain and then wring out; put into a linen bag and leave in a cool
place for several days. (The wool should still be damp when taken out
to dye; if it is dry, damp with warm water). If the Tartar is
increased a cinnamon colour is got. Dye with ½ lb. of madder for every
pound of wool. The water should not boil, but kept just below boiling
for an hour; then boil up for 5 minutes before taking out and washing.

With sulphate of copper as a mordant, madder gives a clear brown
bordering on yellow (one part of sulphate of copper and 2 parts of


The silk is mordanted over night with alum, by steeping it in a cold
concentrated solution; wash well and dye in a separate bath with 50
per cent. of madder. Begin dyeing at a low temperature and gradually
raise to 100°C. The addition of bran tends to give brighter colours. A
small quantity of Sumach could be added if a fuller colour is wanted.
After dyeing, wash and then brighten in a boiling solution of soap, to
which a small percentage of stannous chloride has been added.
Afterwards wash well.

By mordanting with Copperas, either alone or after an Alum bath,
violet and brown shades can be got.


Pound up carefully without heating some roots of madder. Mordant the
wool with Alum, adding some cayenne pepper. Dye with the madder,
adding cream of tartar to the dye bath. Birch leaves improve the


Take a piece of white cotton, about 20 yards. Melt in some water 1 lb.
of potash; boil the cotton in this for 20 minutes, then rinse it. Put
4 lbs. of the best Sumach in the copper and fill it up with boiling
water, and boil for 10 minutes. Put to cool and work the cotton well
in this for an hour. Take it out and give it a scalding hot alum and
sugar of lead bath for half-an-hour; rinse in two waters; put it back
in the sumach for half-an-hour; then alum again for 20 minutes. Rinse.
Put 2 lbs. of madder into hot water and boil gently for a few minutes.
Put in the cotton, work well and boil for half-an-hour gently. After,
give it a hot alum for 20 minutes, and rinse. Put 1 lb. fresh madder
in the copper, put in the cotton and boil for 20 minutes. Then wash.


Scour the cotton. Then gall in the proportion of 1 of gall nuts to 4
of cotton. Then alum in the proportion of 1 of alum to 4 of cotton,
with a little soda and tartar added. Dissolve the alum, etc., and put
in the cotton, and boil half-an-hour. Cool down and ring out. Then dry
slowly. Repeat the aluming. Put madder into water and when hot dip in
cotton for ½ hour, keeping it under boiling point, then boil up for ¼
hour and wash. Dry.


(For 1 lb.) 1st Mordant.--Boil 1 oz. ground gall nuts in 5 quarts of
water for ½ hour. Put in thread and soak for 24 hours. Dry.

2nd Mordant.--Melt 2 oz. of alum, ⅛ oz. of Turmeric, and ½ oz. of
gum Arabic in two quarts of water, over a slow fire. Let cool. Melt 1
oz. soda, 1 oz. arsenic, ¼ oz. potash (crushed) in a bath, and when
dissolved, add the alum, turmeric and gum Arabic mixture. Stew ½ hour.
Put in thread, which should be covered with the liquid, and let it
soak for 24 hours. Dry.

1st. Bath.--Put 2 oz. Madder into 10 quarts of water, heat up to
boiling but do not let it boil. Put in thread and stir well for 1

2nd. Bath.--Put 3 oz. Madder in 10 quarts of water; treat as in first
bath, from which the thread should be taken and put straight into the
2nd. bath. Stir for 1 hour. Soak for 24 hours; wash and dry.

3rd. Bath.--Put 3 oz. Madder in 10 quarts water; repeat the process
described for 2nd. bath. The thread should be washed in cold water &
lastly in warm water in which a little soft soap has been dissolved.
When drying do not wring the skeins as this is likely to make the
colour uneven.

There are a few other red dyes of minor importance which should be

_BRAZIL WOODS_, various leguminous trees, including lima, sapan and
peach wood, dye red with alum and tartar, and a purplish slate colour
with bichromate of potash. They are not fast colours.

Some old dyers used Brazil wood to heighten the red of madder.

_CAMWOOD_, _BARWOOD_, _SANDALWOOD or SANDERSWOOD_, are chiefly 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


The crushed roots of this plant are used. Mordant the wool with either
alum or bichromate of potash. The red with alum is an orange red, with
chrome, a crimson red. Make the dye bath with 30 to 50% of bedstraw
roots and boil the mordanted wool in it for an hour.


For 10 lbs. cotton boil 3 lbs. Sumach, let the cotton steep in this
over night: wring out and work in red spirits (1 gill to a gallon of
water). Wring out and wash well. Boil up 3 lbs. limawood (or Brazil or
Peach wood) and 1 lb. fustic. Work the cotton in this ½ hour, as warm
as the hand can bear; add 1 gill red spirits and work 15 minutes
longer. Wash.


[16] This recipe can also be used for linen, but linen takes the
colour less easily than cotton, and should have the various operations
repeated as much as possible.




"There are ten species of drugs for dyeing yellow, but we find from
experience that of these ten there are only five fit to be used for
the good dye--viz. Weld, savory, green wood, yellow wood and
fenugrec". "Weld or wold yields the truest yellow, and is generally
preferred to all the others. Savory and green wood, being naturally
greenish, are the best for the preparation of wool to be dyed green:
the two others yield different shades yellow".--Hellot.


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

     Hellot's directions for dyeing with weld are the
     following:--"Allow 5 or 6 lbs. of weld to every pound of
     stuff: some enclose the weld in a clean woollen bag, to
     prevent it from mixing in the stuff; and to keep the bag
     down in the copper, they put on it a cross of heavy wood.
     Others hold it in the liquor till it has communicated all
     its colour, and till it falls to the bottom: the stuff is
     then suspended in a net, which falls into the liquor, but
     others, when it has boiled, take out the weld with a rake
     and throw it away."

The plant is gathered in June and July, it is then carefully dried in
the shade and tied up into bundles. When needed for dyeing it is
broken up into pieces or chopped finely, the roots being discarded and
a decoction is made by boiling it up in water for about ¾ 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. The dye bath is
prepared just before dyeing, the chopped weld being put into weighted
bags and boiled in soft water for ½ to 1 hour. 2% 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%
Stannous chloride instead of alum. With 6% copper sulphate and 8%
chalk, weld gives a good orange yellow. Wool mordanted with 4% of
ferrous sulphate and 10% tartar and dyed in a separate bath with weld
with 8% chalk, takes a good olive yellow. 8% of alum is often used
for mordant for weld. The dye bath should not be above 90°C. It is
good to add a little chalk to the dye bath as it makes the colour more
intense, while common salt makes the colour richer and deeper.

     "Woollen dyers frequently add a little stale urine or lime
     and potash to the water in which it is boiled. They
     commonly employ 3 or 4 oz. of alum and one of tartar for
     each pound of the wool. Tartar is supposed to render the
     yellow colour a little more clear and

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 for the silk dyer, as it dyes silk with a fast colour.
The silk is mordanted in the usual way with alum, washed and dyed in a
separate bath of 20 to 40% weld, with a small quantity of soap added.
After dyeing, the colour is brightened by working the silk for 10
minutes in a fresh soap bath with a little weld added to it. Wring out
without washing.



Scour the silk in the proportion of 20 lbs. soap to 100 lbs. of silk.
Afterwards alum and wash. A bath is made of 2 parts weld for 1 of
silk, and after ¼ hour's boiling, it is filtered through a cloth into
another bath. When this bath is cooled a little, the silk is immersed
and turned about till dyed. The weld is in the meantime boiled up
again with a little pearl ash, and after being strained, it is added
to the first bath (part of the first bath having been thrown away)
until the desired colour is got. The bath must not be too hot. If more
golden yellows are wanted, add some annotto to the second bath.


Scour the cotton in a lixivium of wood ashes, wash and dry. It is
alumed with ¼ of its weight of alum. After 24 hours it is taken out of
the bath and dried without washing. A weld bath is prepared with 1¼
parts weld to 1 of cotton, and the cotton dipped in till the shade is
got. It is then worked in a bath of sulphate of copper (¼ copper to 1
of cotton) for 1½ hours. It is next thrown, without washing, into a
boiling solution of white soap (¼ soap to 1 cotton). It is boiled for
1 hour, then washed and dried.


2½ parts of weld for 1 of cotton, with a little copper sulphate added
to the bath. The cotton is well worked in this till the cotton has the
desired colour. It is then taken out and a little soda ley is poured
in. It is returned and worked in this for ¼ hour, then washed and


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


Boil wool with 4% of alum for 1 to 2 hours, and dye in a separate
bath of 50 to 100% weld for 20 minutes to an hour at 90°C.


Mordant with alum and tartar, and dye with 5 or 6 lbs. of weld for
every lb. 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 brown.


Work the silk (1 lb.) for an hour in a solution of alum, 1 lb. to the
gallon, wring out and wash in warm water. Boil 2 lbs. weld for ½ hour;
strain and work the silk in this for ½ hour. Add 1 pint alum solution
to the weld bath and return the silk; work ten minutes, wring out and


Fustic is the wood of _Morus tinctoria_, a tree of Central America. It
is used principally for wool. It does not produce a fast dye for
cotton. 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% copper sulphate and 3 to 4%
tartar). With ferrous sulphate, darker olives are obtained (8%
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. The chips should be tied up in a bag and boiled for
½ hour before using. It is still better to soak the wood over-night,
or boil up in a small vessel and strain into the dye bath. The
proportion of Fustic to be used for a good yellow is 5 to 6 parts to
16 parts of wool.


1). OLD GOLD FOR WOOL. Boil the wool with 3 to 4% Chrome for 1 to 1½
hours. Wash, and dye in a separate bath for 1 to 1½ hours at 100°C.
with 20 to 80% of Old Fustic.

2). LIGHT YELLOW FOR SILK. Work the silk for ¼ to ½ hour at 50° to
60°C. in a bath containing 16% alum and a decoction of 8 to 16% of
old Fustic. For dark yellow the silk is mordanted with alum, washed
and dyed for about an hour at 50°C., with 50 to 100% of Fustic. The
colour can be made faster and brighter by working the silk in a cold
solution of nitro-muriate of Tin for an hour.

3). BRIGHT YELLOW FOR WOOL. Mordant wool with 8% of stannous chloride
for 1 to 1½ hours, and 8% of tartar. Wash, and dye with 20 to 40% of
Fustic at 80° to 100°C. for 30 to 40 minutes.

4). OLD GOLD FOR WOOL. Mordant 6¼ lbs. (100 oz.) wool with 3 oz.
chrome, for ¾ hour and wash. Dye with 24 oz. Fustic & 4 oz. madder for
45 minutes.

5). YELLOW FOR WOOL. Mordant 6¼ lbs. wool with 3 oz. chrome, for ¾
hour and wash. Dye with 6 oz. Fustic, 2 drachms logwood. Boil ¾ hour.

6). BRIGHT YELLOW FOR WOOL. (Single bath method). Fill the dye bath
½ full of water, add 2% oxalic acid, 8% stannous chloride, 4% tartar
and 40 per cent. of Fustic. Boil up for 5 or 10 minutes, then fill the
bath with cold water. Put in the wool & heat up the bath to boiling in
the course of ¾ to 1 hour, & boil for ½ hour.

7). YELLOW FOR WOOL. (Single bath). 4% stannous chloride, 4% oxalic
acid and 50% Fustic.

8). YELLOW FOR SILK. (5 lbs.) Work the silk through an alum solution
of 1 lb. to a gallon of water. Wash in warm water. Boil 2 lbs. Fustic
for ½ hour in water and in this work the silk for ½ hour. Lift and add
1 pint of the alum solution. Work 10 minutes longer, then wash and

9). FUSTIC YELLOW FOR SILK. (5 lbs.) Alum the silk. Boil up 3 lbs.
Fustic and work silk in it while hot for ½ hour. Lift, add 2 oz. red
spirits. Work for 15 minutes. Wash out in cold water. Work 10 minutes
in a soap solution. Wring out and dry.

10). BUFF COLOUR ON WOOL. (45 lbs.) Boil 4½ lbs. Fustic and 1½ lbs.
madder. Add 7 lbs. alum and boil up together. Allow to cool a little,
enter wool and boil for ½ hour.

11). YELLOW FOR WOOL. Mordant with alum and tartar. Solution of tin
increases the colour; salt makes it deeper. 5 or 6 oz. Fustic for
every pound of wool.


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 it 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 ½ 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. As Berthollet says "The shade
arising from the Turmeric is not long of disappearing in the air."


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 1¼ 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 a
bag) as there were used of alum to prepare the wool, which is to be
then 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."


1 to 2 lbs. of bark to every 12 lbs. silk according to shade required.
The bark, tied up in a bag, should be put into the dyeing vessel
whilst the water is cold, as soon as it gets warm the silk, previously
alumed, should also be put in and dyed as usual. A little chalk should
be added towards the end of the operation. A little murio sulphate of
tin is used where more lively shades of yellow are wanted.

Boil at the rate of 4 lbs. bark to every 3 lbs. of alum & 2 lbs. murio
sulphate of tin with a suitable quantity of water, for 10 to 15
minutes. Reduce the heat so that the hand can bear it, put in the silk
and dye till it has acquired the shade. By adding suitable proportions
of sulphate of indigo to this yellow liquor and keeping it well
stirred, various and beautiful shades of Saxon green may be dyed.

By dissolving different proportions of copperas or copperas and alum
in the warm decoction of bark, silk may in the same way be dyed of all
the different shades of olive and drab colours\.

FOR COTTON AND LINEN. Soak the yarn in a liquor made by dissolving ¼
of its weight of alum in the necessary water, to which it will be
highly advantageous to add at the rate of 1 lb. potash or 10 oz. chalk
for every 6 or 7 lbs. alum. The yarn is taken out and dried well:
being afterwards rinsed, it is to be dyed in cold liquor made by
boiling 1¼ lbs. of the plant for each lb. of yarn, which, after having
received a sufficient body of colour, is to be taken out of the dyeing
liquor and soaked for an hour and more in a solution of sulphate of
copper (blue vitriol) containing at the rate of 3 or 4 oz. for every
pound of yarn: it is then removed without being washed, put into a
boiling solution of hard soap, containing 3 or 4 oz. soap for each
pound of yarn. Stir well and boil for about ¾ hour or more. Then wash
and dry.

And again, take a sufficient quantity of acetate of alumina. This is
made by dissolving 3 lbs. alum in a gallon of hot water, then adding 1
lb. sugar of lead, stirring well for 2 or 3 days, afterwards adding
about 2 oz. potash and 2 oz. powdered chalk, (carbonate of lime), mix
with warm water and soak linen or cotton well in this for 2 hours,
keeping warm; squeeze out, dry; soak again in mordant, squeeze; dry;
soak in lime water, dry; this mordanting and liming can be repeated if
a fast yellow is required: it should then be well washed. 12 to 18
lbs. of Quercitron bark, for every 100 lbs. cotton or linen, is tied
up in a bag and put in cold water, and slightly heated. The cotton is
put in, stirring for an hour to an hour and a half while the water
gets warm: then the liquor is heated to boiling point and the cotton
boiled a few minutes only. Slow raising to boiling point gives the
best colour. Instead of using acetate of alumina, the cotton can be
impregnated with some astringent such as galls or myrobalans (1 lb. in
2 or 3 gallons of water with a little soda). Macerate the cotton an
hour or two in this and dry, then a solution of alum (8 lbs. alum, 1
lb. chalk, in 6 gallons of water) soak cotton 2 hours, and dry, then
soak in lime water and dry. Second time in alum and dry. Then wash and
dye slowly in the Quercitron. This is a lasting yellow for cotton or


     "Root of the dock, bark of the Ash tree, leaves of the
     almond, peach and pear trees, all give good yellow dyes,
     more or less fine according to the time they are boiled
     and in proportion to the Tartar and alum used. A proper
     quantity of alum brings these yellows to the beautiful
     yellows of the weld. If the Tartar is in greater quantity,
     these yellows will border on the orange, if too much
     boiled they take brown shades." From a dyeing book, 1778.

_BARBERRY._ The roots and bark of _Berberis Vulgaris_, 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.

_DYERS BROOM._ _Genista tinctoria._ The plant grows on waste ground.
It should be picked in June or July & 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.

_PRIVET LEAVES_, _Ligustrum vulgare_, dye a good fast yellow with alum
and tartar.

_HEATHER._ 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, is put into the dye bath with
the 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\.

RECIPES:--1). YELLOW FOR WOOL. For 6¼ lbs. mordant with 5 oz. alum for
1 hour and wash. Boil up 8 oz. heather twigs, leaves and flowers.
Enter the wool and boil for 1 hour. Wash in cold water & dry.

2). GOLDEN YELLOW FOR WOOL. For 6¼ lbs. mordant with 3 oz. bichromate
of potash for ¾ hour. Wash in cold water. Dye with 50 oz. heather and
boil for 45 minutes.





Catechu, (Cutch) is an old Indian dye for cotton. It can be used for
wool, 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 the 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. The ordinary method of
dyeing cutch brown on cotton is to steep the cotton in a hot solution
of catechu, containing a small addition of copper sulphate, and leave
it in the solution for several hours. To 7 or 8 gallons of water put 1
lb. catechu and boil till all is dissolved, then add 1 to 2 ozs. of
sulphate of copper and stir. It is then put into a boiling chrome bath
(3%) for ½ hour. For deep shades the dyeing and chroming operations
are repeated. With alum mordanted cotton, the colour is a yellowish
brown, with tin it becomes still yellower. With iron it is brownish or
greenish grey. When catechu only is used, a darker shade of brown is
got by adding to the catechu 6% of its weight of copper sulphate.
When mordants are used, they may be applied before or after the chrome
bath, the cotton being worked in their cold solution.

1). CATECHU BROWN FOR COTTON. (10 lbs.) Work the cotton at a boiling
heat for 2 hours, or steep for several hours in a cool liquid, in 2
lbs. catechu. (To each 7 or 8 gallons of water put 1 lb. of catechu,
and boil till all is dissolved, then add 2 oz. sulphate of copper and
stir). Wring out and then work for ½ hour in a hot solution of chrome,
6 oz. Wash in hot water. If soap is added the colour is improved. Any
depth of colour can be got by repeating the operations.

2). BROWN FOR COTTON. Soak cotton in warm water. Boil for ½ hour in a
solution of catechu, in the proportion of 1 oz. of catechu to 5 oz. of
cotton. Put it into a 3% solution of chrome for ½ hour and boil. Then
repeat these two operations till the colour is obtained. Then boil in
a bath of Fustic.

3). BROWN FOR COTTON. (100 lbs.) Boil 20 lbs. catechu in water:
dissolve in the liquid 10 lbs. alum and let it settle: enter the yarn
into the hot liquid and after working well take out and enter into a
fresh bath of boiling water with 4 lbs. of chrome. Rinse and soften
with oil and soap.

4). CREAM COLOUR FOR COTTON WITH CATECHU. (11 lbs). Boil out ¾ oz. of
catechu in water, and dissolve 2 lbs. 3 oz. curd soap in the clear
liquid. Enter the cotton at 190° F. and work for an hour.

5). CATECHU FAST BROWN. (50 lbs.) Steep yarn over-night in a decoction
of 10 lbs. cutch. Lift & work in a hot solution of chrome, rinse &

6). LIGHT FAST CATECHU BROWN FOR COTTON. (50 lbs.) Boil 20 lbs.
catechu in one boiler and 5 lbs. chrome in another. Enter in the
catechu bath first, work 20 minutes, and wring out: then through the
chrome 10 minutes, and wring out. Through catechu again, then chrome.
Repeat this till dark enough, finishing with catechu.

7). LIGHT CATECHU BROWN FOR COTTON. (20 lbs). 3 lbs. of catechu and 3
oz. copper sulphate, boil up, and put into a bath of warm water. Enter
cotton and work for ½ hour; wring out. In another bath of hot water
dissolve 8 oz. of chrome. Enter cotton when boiling, and work for
½ hour. Then wash.

8). CATECHU BLACK FOR COTTON. Work the cotton in a hot decoction of
catechu, allowing it to steep in the bath till cold, then work it in a
cold solution of iron. Wash, and dye in a cold or tepid bath of
logwood, and finally pass through a solution of chrome.

9). CATECHU BROWN FOR WOOL. The wool is boiled for 1 to 1½ hours, with
10 to 20% catechu, then sadden with 2 to 4% of copper sulphate,
ferrous sulphate, or chrome, at 80° to 100°C., in a separate bath for
½ hour.

10). CATECHU STONE DRAB. (10 lbs. cotton). Work the cotton for ¼ hour
with 2 pints catechu (1 lb. catechu to 7 or 8 gallons water; boil and
add 2 oz. copper sulphate) in hot water, lift and add 2 oz. copperas
in solution. Work for ¼ hour and wash. Add 2 oz. logwood to a bath of
warm water & work cotton in this for 10 minutes. Lift and add ½ oz.
alum. Work 10 minutes; wring out and dry.


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 ½ oz. copperas for every pound
of wool for black.


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


The green shells of the walnut fruit and the root are used for dyeing
brown. The husks are collected when the fruit is ripe, put into a cask
and covered with water. In this way they can be kept for a year or
more; it is said the longer they are kept the better colour they give.
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 ¼ 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. William Morris says:--

     "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."

            *       *       *       *       *

     "Of all the ingredients used for the brown dye, the walnut
     rind is the best. Its shades are finer, its colour is
     lasting, it softens the wool, renders it of a better
     quality, and easier to work. To make use of this rind, a
     copper is half filled, and when it begins to grow
     luke-warm, the rind is added in proportion to the
     quantities of stuffs to be dyed and the colour intended.
     The copper is then made to boil, and when it has boiled a
     quarter-of-an-hour, the stuffs which were before dipped in
     warm water, are put in. They are to be stirred and turned
     until they acquire the desired colour."--James Haigh,

_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 and a little
cayenne pepper. Boil it up lightly and keep warm for 6 days. Drying 2
or 3 times in between makes the colour more durable. Dry. Boil a
quantity of onion skins, and cool; then put in wool and boil lightly
for half-an-hour to an hour; then keep warm for a while. Wring out and

_MADDER for BROWN._ (For 2½ lbs. wool). Mordant with 2 oz. copperas
and 2 oz. cream of tartar. Dye with madder.

_MADDER, ETC., for FRENCH BROWN._ (For 50 lbs. wool.) Mordant with
1½ lbs. chrome. Dye with 6 lbs. Fustic, 1 lb. madder, ½ lb. cudbear,
1 lb. Tartar. If not dark enough add 8 oz. logwood. Boil for ½ hour.
Wash and dry.

_FOR BLACK THREAD._ (From an old Dutch book on Dyeing. 1583). "Take a
quantity of broken or bruised galls and boil them in water in a small
pot and when they have a little boiled, take out all the galls and put
into the same pot so much Copperas as ye had of galles and put
therewith a little gumme of Arabic and then give it again another
boiling. So let it boil a little, and with the said dye ye shall
colour therein your thread, then take it forth and ye shall see it a
fair shining black."

_TAN SHADE._ (for 6¼ lbs. wool). Mordant with 3 oz. Chrome for 45
minutes and wash in cold water. Boil for ½ hour, in a bag, 5 oz.
madder, 4 oz. Fustic, ½ oz. logwood. Enter the wool, raise to the
boil, and boil for 45 minutes. By altering the proportions of madder &
fustic various shades of brown can be got.

_A GOOD BLACK_ for cotton, (20 lbs.) to stand milling and scouring.
Steep all night with 6 lbs. of Sumach, pass through lime liquor and
sadden with copperas; repeat in each of the last 2 tubs, adding more
lime and copperas to each. Pass through logwood and wash. Soften with
a little oil and soda ash.

_A GOOD BLACK_ for cotton, (20 lbs.) In a tub of cold water add 5 lbs.
sumach, give a few turns and let it steep in it all night; then in
another tub of cold water add a few pails of lime water, wring out; in
another tub add 2 lbs. dissolved copperas and a pailful of old Sumach
liquor. Enter, give 6 turns, wring out. In lime tub put two pails more
lime liquor. Scald 2 lbs. logwood, 1 lb. Fustic in water; enter
cotton, give 10 turns, sadden with a little copperas in the same
liquor. Soften with a little oil and soda ash.

_BLACK FOR LINEN AND COTTON._ The yarn is first of all scoured in the
ordinary way, galled, alumed, and then turned through a bath of weld.
It is then dyed in a decoction of logwood to which one fourth part of
sulphate of copper must be added for one part of yarn. It is then
washed. It is dyed in a bath made with one part of madder for two of
yarn. The yarn is then turned through a bath of boiling soap water,
washed and dried.

_DOESKIN BLACK._ (For 100 lbs. wool.) Camwood 8%. Boil for 50
minutes. Then add Chrome 3%, Alum 1%, Argol 1%. Boil for 50
minutes, take out of dye and allow to stand overnight. Dye in 45%
logwood, 8% Fustic, 4% Sumac. Boil for 1½ hours, wash and dry. A
fast permanent colour.

_GREEN BLACK FOR WOOL._ Mordant with 2% Chrome and 25% Sulphuric
acid. Boil 1½ hours; and leave over-night. Dye with 40% logwood, and
10% Fustic. Boil 1 hour. Wash.

_BROWNISH BLACK FOR WOOL._ (For 1 lb.) Mordant with 3 per cent.
Chrome. Dye with 2 oz. Fustic, 2 oz. logwood, 1 oz. madder, and 1 oz.

_BROWN FOR WOOL._ Mordant 2½ hours with alum; dye with pine needles
(larch) collected in Autumn when they drop.

"_BLACK_ is obtained from the whole plant of _Spirea Ulmaria_, but
especially the root. It is gathered then dried in the sun, and a
strong decoction made by boiling for some hours, (a large handful to 3
pints of water). After it has boiled slowly for 2 to 3 hours, stale
urine is added to supply the loss by evaporation. Then set aside to
cool. The cloth to be dyed, is rubbed strongly with bog iron ore,
previously roughened and moistened with water. It is then rolled up
and boiled in the decoction. This is of a brilliant black. A fine
black is said to have been formerly obtained from the roots of
_Angelica Sylvestris_."--(Edmonstone on the Native Dyes of the
Shetland Islands, 1841.) William Morris says;

     "[17]Black is best made by dyeing dark blue wool with
     brown; and walnut is better than iron for the brown part,
     because the iron-brown is apt to rot the fibre; as you
     will see in some pieces of old tapestry, or old Persian
     carpets, where the black is quite perished, or at least in
     the case of the carpet--gone down to the knots. All
     intermediate shades of flesh colour can be got by means of
     weak baths of madder and walnut "saddening;" madder or
     cochineal mixed with weld gives us orange, and with
     saddening (walnut) all imaginable shades between yellow
     and red, including the ambers, maize-colour, etc."

     From a Dye Book of 1705.--"Black may be compared to Night
     and Death, not only because all other colours are deepened
     and buried in the Black Dye, but that as Death puts an end
     to all Evils of Life, tis necessary that the Black Dye
     should remedy the faults of other colours, which have been
     occasioned by the deficiency of the Dyer or the Dye, or
     the change of Fashion according to the times and caprice
     of man."


[17]--For other recipes for Black, see Chapter VI on Logwood.



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

     "Many different plants are capable of affording green
     colours; such as, the field broom grass, _Bromus
     secalinus_; the green berries of the berry bearing alder,
     _Rhamnus frangula_; wild chervil, _Chærophyllum
     silvestre_; purple clover, _Trifolium pratense_; common
     reed, _Arundo phragmites_; but these colours have no

     _Hellot_ says:--"It is impossible to obtain more than one
     colour from a mixture of blue and yellow, which is green;
     but this colour comprehends an infinite variety of shades,
     the principal of which are the Yellow green, the Light
     green, the Gay green, the Grass green, the Laurel green,
     the Molequin green, the Deep green, the Sea green, the
     Celadon green, the Parrot green, and, I shall add, the
     Duck-wing green, and the Celadon green with Blue. All
     these shades and the intermediate ones are made after the
     same manner and with the same ease. The stuff or wool dyed
     blue, light or dark, is boiled with Alum and Tartar, as is
     usually done to make white stuff yellow, and then with
     Weld, Savory, or Greening Wood. The Weld and the Savory
     are the two plants that afford the finest greens."

Another old Dye book says:--

     "If you would dye your goods green, you must first dye
     them yellow with Broom or Dyer's Weed, otherwise Yellow
     Weed; after which put them into the Blue vat."

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 dyed first 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 3 different ways:--1st. in the
indigo vat (see page 68 et seq.); 2nd. with Indigo Extract (see pages
65-67); 3rd. with logwood, the wool having been previously mordanted
with chrome (see p. 82, No. 7, and p. 85 No. 17). For a good bright
green, dye the wool a rather light blue, then wash and dry; 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.

_Bancroft_ gives many recipes for dyeing green with quercitron. He

     "Wool which has been first properly dyed blue in the
     common indigo vat may be made to receive any of the
     various shades of green which are usually given in this
     way from weld, by boiling the blue wool (after it has been
     well rinsed) in water, with about one eighth of its
     weight in alum, and afterwards dyeing it unrinsed with
     about the same quantity of Quercitron bark and a little
     chalk which should be added towards the end of the

     In the same way cloth that has previously received the
     proper shade of Saxon blue, may be dyed to a beautiful
     Saxon green: it will be proper to add about 3 lbs. chalk
     with 10 to 12 pounds of alum for the preparation liquor
     for 100 lbs. weight of wool which is to be turned and
     boiled as usual for about an hour, and then without
     changing the liquor, 10 or 12 lbs. of Quercitron bark,
     powdered and tied up in a bag, may be put into it, and the
     dyeing continued. When the dyeing has continued about 15
     minutes, it will be proper to add another lb. of powdered
     chalk, stirring it well in, and to repeat this addition
     once, twice or three times at intervals of 6 or 8 minutes.
     The chalk does not merely answer the purpose of
     decomposing the acid left in the wool by the sulphate of
     indigo, but it helps to raise the colour and to render it
     more durable."

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 hundred
     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 about ½ hour. It is best to
     keep the water just at the boiling point."


1). BOTTLE GREEN FOR SILK WITH FUSTIC. (5 lbs.) Dissolve 2 lbs. alum
and 1 lb. copperas in water; work the silk in this for ½ hour; wash in
warm water. Work for ½ an hour in a decoction of 6 lbs. Fustic. Lift,
and add 2 oz. Indigo Extract. Work 20 minutes. Wash and dry.

2). GREEN FOR WOOL WITH FUSTIC. ½ lb. of wool is mordanted with ⅛
oz. chrome and ⅛ oz. Cream of Tartar for ½ an hour to 1 hour. Soak
overnight in water, 3 oz. Fustic and 2½ oz. logwood, and boil for 2
hours. Strain, and enter wool. Boil for 2 hours.

3). GREEN FOR LINEN WITH LARCH BARK. Mordant 4 lbs. linen with ½ lb.
alum. Boil for 2½ hours; wring out but do not dry. Boil up a quantity
of larch bark and boil linen in this for 2½ hours.

4). FUSTIC GREEN FOR WOOL. (50 lbs.) Mordant wool with 11 lbs. alum.
Soak 50 lbs. Fustic over-night, and boil up. Enter the wool and boil
for half-an-hour or more. Add Extract of Indigo in small quantities at
a time, till the desired colour is got.

5). SAXON GREEN FOR WOOL. Mordant the wool with alum and tartar for
half-an-hour; it is then taken out and aired, but not washed. The bath
is refreshed with cold water, and half the amount of the solution of
Indigo which is to be used is well mixed in. The wool is entered and
rapidly stirred for 5 or 6 minutes, without boiling. It is taken out
and the rest of the Indigo solution is well mixed in. The wool is put
in and boiled for ten minutes; then taken out and cooled. The bath is
then three-quarters emptied and filled up with a decoction of fustic.
When the bath is very hot, the wool is put in until the desired shade
of green is got.

6). GREEN WITH QUERCITRON FOR WOOL. Dye the wool blue in the Indigo
vat. Wash well. For 100 parts of wool, put 3 parts of chalk and 10 or
12 of alum. Boil the wool in this for 1 hour. Then to the same bath,
add 10 or 12 parts of Quercitron, and continue the boiling for ¼ hour.
Then add 1 part of chalk, and this addition is repeated at intervals
of 6 to 8 minutes till a fine green colour is brought out.

7). GREEN WITH QUERCITRON FOR COTTON. First, the cotton is dyed a sky
blue colour by means of indigo dissolved by potash and orpiment; then
it is passed through a strong decoction of sumach, in which it is left
until well cooled. It is then dried, passed through the mordant of
acetate of alumina, dried again, washed, worked for 2 hours in tepid
bath of Quercitron, (26¼ lbs. to 110 lbs. cotton).

8). GREEN WITH INDIGO EXTRACT & WELD FOR WOOL. Mordant 1 lb. wool with
4 oz. alum and ½ oz. cream of tartar. Dye blue with sufficient
quantity 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.


[18] Note page 42 on British plants which dye green.



_Continued from page 62_

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

_Gyrophora deusta._ Scorched looking gyrophora. Found on rocks in
Scandinavia. Linnæus states that it furnishes a paint called "Tousch,"
much used in Sweden.

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

_Alectoria jubata._ Horse hair lichen, Rock hair. On fir trees in
England, pale greenish brown.

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

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

_Borrera flavicans._ Yellow borrera. On trees in Germany, gamboge

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

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

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

_Lepraria chlorina._ Brimstone coloured lepraria. Scandinavia, on

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


Prof. G. Henslow. Uses of British Plants.

Dr. Plowright. British Dye Plants. (Journal of the Royal Horticultural
Society, Vol. 26. 1901.)

Sowerby. Useful Plants of Great Britain.

Sowerby. English Botany.

Professor G. S. Boulger. The Uses of Plants. 1889.

Alfred Edge. Some British Dye Lichens. (Journal of the Society of
Dyers and Colourists. May 1914).

J. J. Hummel. The Dyeing of Textile Fabrics.

Clement Bolton. A Manual of Wool Dyeing. 1913.

W. Crooks. Dyeing and Tissue Printing. 1882.

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

James Haigh. The Dyer's Assistant. 1778.

James Napier. A Manual of Dyeing Receipts. 1855.

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

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

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

Mrs. Anstruther Mackay. Simple Home Dyeing.

English Encyclopædia. Dyeing. 1802.

Gardiner D. Hiscock. 20th Century Book of Recipes, Formulas and
Processes. 1907.

F. J. Bird. The Dyer's Hand Book. 1875.

Hurst. Silk Dyeing and Printing. (Technological Hand Book. 1892).

Smith. Practical Dyers' Guide. 1849.

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

David Smith. The Dyers' Instructor. 1857.

The Dyer and Colour Maker's Companion. 1859.

Thomas Love. The Practical Dyer and Scourer. 1854.

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

Berthollet. The Art of Dyeing. 1824.

George Jarmain. On Wool Dyeing. 6 Lectures. 1876.

Hellot, Macquer, M. le Pilleur D'Apligny. The Art of Dyeing Wool, Silk
and Cotton. (Translated from the French, 1789. New Edition, 1901.)

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

R. P. Milroy. Handbook on Dyeing for Woollen Homespun Workers.
(Congested Districts Board for Ireland).

Dr. W. L. Lindsay. On the Dyeing Properties of Lichens. (Edinburgh New
Philosophical Journal, 1855).

T. Edmonston. "On the Native Dyes of the Shetland Islands."
(Transactions of Botanical Society of Edinburgh, Vol. I. 1841).

Edward Bancroft. The Philosophy of Permanent Colours. 1794.

Francheville. On Ancient and Modern Dyes, 1767. (Royal Academy of
Sciences, Berlin).

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

William Morris. "Of Dyeing as an Art." (Essays by Members of the Arts
and Crafts Exhibition Society, 1903).

William Morris. "The Lesser Arts of Life." (From Architecture,
Industry and Wealth. 1902).

Brewster's Edinburgh ncyclopædia. 1830. Dyeing.

Sansome. "Dyeing." 1888.

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


A.--_Adjective dyes_, 24. Dyes which require a mordant.

_Alder bark_, 43, 44, 100, 126.

_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, discvrd., 1868.

_Alkaline ley_, 28.

_Almond_, 120.

_Amber_, 132.

_Alum_, 26-29.

_Aluminium sulphate_, 26.

_Aniline_, 3. Discovered, 1826 (_añil, Span. indigo_). First prepared
from indigo by means of caustic potash. Found in coal in 1834.
Manufactured on a large scale after Perkin's discovery of mauve in

_Anatta_, (Anotto, Arnotto, Roucou), 111. 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.

_Archil_, 52, 53, 54.

_Argol_, 131. 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.

_Ash_, 41, 120.

_Astringents_, 19, 26.

B.--_Barberry_, 41, 120.

_Barwood_, 67, 106.

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

_Bichromate of Potash_, 32.

_Birch_, 38, 42, 43, 99, 103.

_Black_, 122-123; from logwood, 79-85.

_Black Dye Plants_, 44.

_Blue_, 63; from Indigo, 66-75; from lichen, 61; from logwood, 79-85.

_Blue black_, 81.

_Blue Dye Plants_, 39.

_Blue stone_, 33.

_Blue vitriol_, 33-36.

_Bois de Campêche_, 77.

_Bois jaune_, Fustic, yellow wood.

_Brazil woods_, 106.

_British Dye Plants_, 37-44.

_Broom_, 41, 134.

_Brown_, 122-133; from lichens, 45-49, 51, 56, 57, 60-62, 140; from
madder, 102, 106; from weld, 112; from woad, 76.

_Brown Dye Plants_, 43.

_Buff_, 115.

C.--_Campeachy Wood_, 77.

_Camwood_, 106, 131.

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

_Catechu_, 33, 35, 36, 122-6.

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

_Chestnut_, 35.

_Chrome_, 32, 33.

_Cinnamon_, 102.

_Claret_, 51, 84.

_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.

_Cochineal_, 92-7, 132.

_Copper_, 33-5.

_Copper sulphate_, 33.

_Copperas_, 29, 30, 129.

_Corcur_, 51.

_Cotton_, 18; the dyeing of, 19; without mordant, 21; method in India,
19, 20; the mordanting of, 26.

_Cream_, from catechu, 124.

_Cream of Tartar_, 28-32, 34. See argol.

_Crimson_, 94-96, 106; from lichens, 49, 60.

_Crottle_, 46, 56-60, 62.

_Cudbear_, 45, 52, 54, 55, 57, 58, 67, 85, 129.

D.--_Detergent_, 15. A cleansing agent.

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

_Divi-divi_, 35, 36. The dried pods of _Cæsalpina coriaria_, growing
in the West Indies and S. America. They contain 20 to 35% tannin and
a brown colouring matter.

_Dock_, 40, 44, 50, 69, 120, 135.

_Drab_, 80, 118, 126.

_Dyer's Broom_, 40, 121, 135.

_Dyer's Spirit_, 32. Aqua fortis, 10 parts; Sal Ammoniac, 5 parts;
Tin, 2 parts; dissolved together.

_Dyer's Weed_, 40, 134.

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

_Extract of Indigo_, 65-69.

F.--_Felting_, to prevent, 15.

_Fenugrec_, Fenugreek, 107. _Trigonnella fœnugræcum._

_Ferrous sulphate_, 29.

_Flavin._ A colouring matter extracted from quercitron.

_Fleece_, various kinds of, 13.

_Flesh colour_, 132.

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

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

_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.

_Fustic_, 113-116, 130, 131, 135.

G.--_Galls_, _Gall nuts_, 26, 129. Oak galls produced by the egg of an
insect,--the female gall wasp. An excrescence is produced round the
egg, & the insect, when developed, pierces a hole & escapes. Those
gall nuts which are not pierced contain most tannic acid. The best
come from Aleppo and Turkey.

_Gramme_ or _Gram_. About 15½ grains (Troy).

_Green_, 133-9; with fustic, 137-8; with weld, 139.

_Green Dye Plants_, 42.

_Green Vitriol_, 29.

_Green wood_, 107, 108, 134.

_Greening weed_, 121.

_Grey_, 67, 79; from logwood, 80, 85.

H.--_Hazel colour_, 128.

_Heather_, 40, 85, 121, 135.

I.--_Iceland moss_, 51, 61.

_Indigo_, 63-75, 135-139.

_Indigo Extract_, 64-70; for green, 135-139.

_Iron_, 29-30.

K.--_Kermes_, 87-91.

_Kilo. Kilogramme._ Equals 2 lbs. 3·2 oz.

_Korkalett_, 50.

L.--_Lac_, 97, 98.

_Larch_, 43, 131, 137.

_Lavender_, 84.

_Lesser Dye_, 77, 79.

_Ley_, see lye.

_Lichen_, 45-62, 140.

_Lilac_, 95, 96, 97.

_Lima Wood_, 106, 107.

_Linen_, 21; to bleach, 22; the mordanting of, 26; various kinds of,

_Litre_, 80. Nearly 1¾ pints.

_Lixiviation._ 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 lixiviation from wood

_Logwood_, 77, 130, 131, 137.

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

M.--_Madder_, 38, 98-105, 132.

_Magenta_, 44.

_Maize_, 132.

_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.

_Mordants_, 24; general remarks on, 34; primitive mordants, 25.

_Muriate of Tin_, 31.

_Myrobalans_, 26, 35, 36. The fruit of several species of trees,
growing in China & the East Indies, containing tannic acid, (25-40%

O.--_Oak bark_, 128.

_Oak galls_, 35, 36.

_Oil of Vitriol_, 64, 65, 67. Sulphuric acid.

_Old Fustic_, see Fustic.

_Old Gold_, 109, 112-114.

_Olive_, 109, 113, 118, 135.

_Onion skins_, 128.

_Orange_, 91, 93, 102, 106, 109, 120, 132; from lichens, 48, 51, 58,

_Orchil_, 45, 52-55.

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

_Orseille_, 58.

_Oxalic Acid_, 30, 31.

P.--_Pastel_, 77. Woad.

_Peach_, 120.

_Peach wood_, 106-107.

_Pear_, 41, 120.

_Pearl ash._ Carbonate of Potash.

_Peat Soot_, 128.

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

_Philamort_, 48.

_Pink_, 93; from lichen, 57.

_Plum colour_, from lichen, 48.

_Poplar_, 42, 135.

_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

_Potassium dichromate_, 32.

_Privet_, 39, 41, 42, 121.

_Purple_, from lichens, 53, 57-60, 62; with cochineal, 95, 96; with
logwood, 82, 85, 86, 87.

_Purple Dye Plants_, 43.

Q.--_Quercitron_, 116-120; for green, 135-137.

R.--_Red_, 87-107; from lichens, 48-51, 53, 56, 58, 60.

_Red Dye Plants_, 38.

_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.

_Retting_, 21.

_Roucou._ Anatta, Arnotto.

S.--_Sandalwood_ or Saunderswood, 106.

_Sadden, to_, _saddening_, 14, 30, 34, 127, 130, 132. To darken or dull
in colour.

_Sapan wood_, 106.

_Savory_, 107, 108.

_Sawwort_, 41, 135.

_Saxon blue_, 67, 70, 136. The dye made by Indigo dissolved in oil of

_Saxon green_, 118, 136, 138.

_Scarlet_, 88, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95, 97, 98.

_Scarlet of Grain_, 87.

_Scotch ell._ 37·2 inches.

_Scour, to._ To wash.

_Scroop._ The rustling property of silk.

_Scrottyie_, 49, 50, 59.

_Silk_, 16-18; to alum, 18; general method of dyeing, 17; to mordant,
26; the preparation of, 17; to soften, 18; various kinds of, 16; raw,
16, 17; waste, 16.

_Silver drab_, 84.

_Sloe_, 39.

_Soda ash._ Carbonate of soda.

_Soda ley_, 101.

_Sour water_, 28. To every gallon of water, add 1 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 24 hours it is
ready to use.

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

_Stannous Chloride_, 31.

_Staple_, 11, 12. A term applied to cotton and wool, indicating length
of fibre.

_Stuffing and Saddening_, 14, 30.

_Substantive Dye_, 24, 52, 65, 116. A dye not requiring a mordant.

_Sulphuric Acid_, 64, 66, 67, 70, 120, 131.

_Sumach_, 26, 35, 36, 126. 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).

T.--_Tannic Acid_, 26, 35.

_Tannin_, 35, 36.

_Tin_, 31, 32.

_Tin crystals_, 31.

_Tin salts_, 31.

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

_Turkey Red_, 99.

_Turmeric_, 116.

_Turquoise_, 69.

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

V.--_Valonia_, 35. Acorn cups of certain species of oak from S.
Europe, containing 25-35% of tannic acid.

_Vegetable alkali._ Potash.

_Verdigris_, 33. Acetate of copper.

_Violet_, 86, 94, 103.

_Vitrum_, 76.

W.--_Walnut_, 43, 127, 132.

_Water_ for dyeing, 23.

_Weld_, 107-112, 120, 130, 134, 135.

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

_Woad_, 39, 75-77.

_Wool_, 11; to bleach, 16; to cleanse, 15, 16; long staple wool, 12;
various kinds of, 11, 12, 13.

_Wool Dyeing_, general methods, 13-16.

Y.--_Yarn_, to soften, 16.

_Yellow_, 107-122; from lichens, 51, 57, 140; from sumach, 126.

_Yellow Dye Plants_, 39.

_Yellow Weed_, 134.

_Yellow Wood_, 107.


     page 59. Rock Urcolaria shld. be Rock Urceolaria.

     page 61. Flowering lusnea shld. be Flowering Usnea.

     page 144. (printed without being corrected).

       Add:--_Alder bark_, 43, 44, 100, 126.

       _Almond_, 120.

       _Amber_, 132.

       _Argol_, 131.

       _Ash_, 41, 120.

       _Barwood_, 67, 106.


     authracene to anthracene

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and the black, the very black, cart thereon, will incontinently

     --_The New Witness._

His arguments are closely logical when he chooses to make them so,
though their sequence and arrangement are bewilderingly haphazard.

     --_The Herald._

The whole effect is of a hotch-potch composed in a lunatic asylum; and
the pictures seem madder than the letterpress.... Much to the
irritation of my wife, for supper was waiting, I read on till I had
read the book right through.... The "mad" author of this book is
Douglas Pepler, the "mad" artist is Eric Gill. When I say "mad" I am,
for the moment, taking it for granted that the world is sane.--

     _Labour Leader._

       *       *       *       *       *

(and so on very nicely for several columns.)--

     _Land and Water._

The drama is skilfully unfolded (though the author fails over the
spelling of Nietzsche, page 29) and interspersed with wood-cuts ...
and a still more excellent account of the passing of the poor man's

     _The Cambridge Magazine._

The author has marked with the toe of his boot the moral weakness on
which the Devil depends for his power over the modern world.--

     _Red Feather._

Mr. Pepler perpetually _DROPS_ into dialogue with


     _New Age._

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