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11-Nov-2017 08:04

Another example of a natural dye obtained from plants is woad.

Until the Middle Ages, Europeans used woad to create a blue fabric dye.

The ability of natural dyes to color textiles has been known since ancient times.

The earliest written record of the use of natural dyes was found in China dated 2600BC.

The mucus-like contents of the veins were then mixed together and spread on silk or linen.

Estimates are that it took 8,500 shellfish to produce one gram of the dye, hence the fact this dye was worth more than its weight in gold.

Chemical tests of red fabrics found in the tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt show the presence of alizarin, a pigment extracted from madder.

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The 'turkey red’ that was so popular at that time, was based on madder. The madder plant continued to be used for dyeing until the mid-1800s when a synthetic substitute was developed.If they do need a mordant, they are called adjective dyes.Common mordants are: ALUM, usually used with cream of tartar, which helps evenness and brightens slightly; IRON (or copperas) which saddens or darken colors, bringing out green shades; TIN, usually used with cream of tartar, which blooms or brightens colors, especially reds, oranges and yellows; BLUE VITRIOL which saddens colors and brings out greens and TANNIC ACID used for tans and browns.Kermes (from the Kermes insect) is identified in the bible book of Exodus, where references are made to scarlet colored linen.

By the 4Purple was made from a mollusk and clothing made from it was so expensive only the royal family could afford it.Indigo began to be grown in England, and Cudbear, a natural dye prepared from a variety of lichens, is patented.

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