dye-list-art - 2/28/00
A list of period plant dyes by Moriel.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
Subject: ANST - NATURAL DYE STUFFS- ***LONG***
Date: Tue, 30 Jun 98 22:17:16 MST
From: jhartel <jhartel at net-link.net>
To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG
Ok Stefan and others have unknowingly goaded me into getting off my
arse. I pulled out my copy of "Dye Plants" [ISBN 1-871569-74-5] by John
and Margaret Cannon, illustrated by Gretel Dalby-Quenet, and found these
tid-bits pertaining to dyeing and plants. I didn't put the "scientific"
name but if ya want them then e-mail me. If I have actually experimented
with the plant then I will put an (*) by the name.
1.*Black Walnut-yields blacks to dark-medium browns. Pliny recored the
use of walnut shells in a recipe for keeping the white from one's hair.
Though post period, 1694, THE LADIES DICTIONARY also sites walnut husks
to darken the hair.
2.*Blackberry yields dark to light purple. I actually used mulberry but
got the same results. The leaves can be used for browns and blacks.
Roots can give orange or greenish colours.
3. *Brazilwood yields reds/burgundies. Native to Indonesia it was
transported to China as early as 900BC. In early midieval times,
1084-1153, reign of Scotland's David 1, the Arabs were importing it to
4.Dyer's Alkanet yields purples. Native to southern Europe and Middle
East. Mentioned in Greco-Egyptian papyri as far back as 3rd century AD.
It was used in cosmetics and wine colorants.
5.Elderberries yeilds different colors depending what part you use.
Berries give bluish/purple colors. Leaves may give gold/grren hues.
Native to most of Europe and England.
6.Fustic yields golds/browns. It is native to tropical America and the
West Indies. It was reported to have been imported into Europe via
Spain in 1510.
7.Goldenrod yields golds/oranges/browns. Native to North America there
is a variant in Europe and central Asia. Two of the common names are
"Aaron's Rod" and "Jew's Rod" which refer to the yellow clothing the
Jews wore during the Middle Ages.
8.Heather yields golds/browns. Native in Western Europe. It was used
in Scottish tartans in the 1700's, thus I *assume* it would have been
9.Henna yields reds/golds. Probably native to Eastern India but has
been cultivated in the Middle East and North Africa for centuries. Used
to dye skin, hair, finger/toe nails, beards and mane and tails of horses
in Ancient Egypt.
10.*Indigo yields blues of many shades. Native to the tropics.
Mentioned in Idian manuscripts dating from 4th century BC. It was
re-introduced byt eh Arabs in the 11th century to the Mediterranean.
Marco Polo mentioned it. It came to be banned in Britain and other
European countries because it was taking too much away from the woad
growers. If you dye with indigo BE WARNED...it STINKS!!! My husband
won't let me dye with it in the house anymore it smells SO bad.
11.Lady's Bedstraw yields yellowish greens/dark greens. Native of
Europe and western Asia. In 1652 Culpeper mentioned it in his BRITISH
HERBAL as a a bath fro tired and weary feet.
12.*Logwood yields purples/blacks. Native of tropical Central America
and northern South America. Spanish conquistadores in the 1500's found
it's use in Campeche, a state in Mexico. They exported it Europe and
was in England by the mid 1500's. In 1581 a law was passed against it
to once again protect the woad growers.
13.*Madder yields oranges/deep reds/burgundies. Native to western and
central Asia. It has been dated as far back as 3000BC from the Indus
civilization. It is also mentioned in the Bible. It was grown
extensively in France and Germany in the Middle Ages. From the
100-1700's the Dutch almost monopolized the idndustry.
14. Mahonia yields yellow/greenish tints. Native to China though
cultivated in Japan. Linnaeus recorded its use as a yellow dye stuff.
It was also mentioned in a 14th century Austrian manuscript.
15.Munjeet (madder Family, see #13). Yields reds. This plant was used
in Coptic textiles of the 6th century. Added with Indigo its gives a
violet known as "Egyptian Purple".
16. Nettle yields greens/browns and is native to Europe and temperate
parts of Asia. It was sometimes used in Scotland to produce colors for
17.*Onions yeild gold/orange/browns. Grown throughout the world.
18.Persian berries (Buckthorn family) yields bright
yellows/golds/oranges/browns. Native to Europe, Engalnd, much of the
world. In the Middle Ages it was used to dye clothing and especially
the hats of Jews to distinguish them from the Christians. This is
thought to be a reflection of the yellow turbans which the Persians made
the Christians and Jews wear in the 9th century.
19. Safflower yields yellows/golds. Native to western Asia. Egyptian
mummies have been found with safflower dyed bandages. Pliny mentions
the safflower in his NATURAL HISTORY. A red pigment can be obtained
with soda and citirc acid. Until recently this was how the cotton tapes
were dyed which sealed British offical papers . Thus the term "RED
TAPE" in association with governments.
20.Saffron yileds greens/golds. Cultivated throughout the world.
Persian Emperors wore saffron dyed robes and had documents dyed from it
as well. the Bible mentions saffron in the SONG OF SOLOMON. In the
12th century the Arabs introduced saffron to Spain and by the late
Middle Ages it was cultivated throughout Europe. Used as a hair dye
by ladies of Venice in the late 1500's.
21.Sanserswood yields browns/res. Native to southern India and
cultivated in the orient. Marco Polo mentioned it growing on two
islands east of India. He also talks of it being impotred to CHina.
22.Silver Birch yields oranges/red/browns. Native to most of Europe.
Tannins in the bark have been used to tan leather.
23. Tumeric yields yellos/oranges/golds/greens. Originated in India but
cultivated throughout the tropis. It was imported from India nad the
Far East to Europe. Marco Pols saw it in Bengal and China. In a
1600,in DELIGHTS FOR LADIES, Sir Hugo Platt describes the color. It was
reported in Scotland in 1612.
24.Weld yields yellows/gplds/browns. Native to south-central and
western Europe. Romans used it for dyeing wedding garmants and the
robes of "vestal virgins". Pliny cites it being used exclusively for
women's garb. In the CAPITOLARBIUS DE TINCTORUM OF 1243, the use of
others yellows is forbidden because weld, "was thought to give much more
permanent colours." It too was used to color the caps worn by Jews.
25.Woad yields blues. Native to Europe, western Asia and North Africa.
Celtic tribes used woad as a skin dye. The name "Britain" is said to
derive from the Celtic word "brith", which means paint. It is said that
Glastonbury recied it's name from "glastum", meaning blue. Woad mills
were common in Elizabethan England. They smelled so foul HRM forbade
them within 5 miles of any of her estates.
THOUGH NOT A PLANT: Cochineal yields reds/perples. It is the female
"Dactylopius coccus", a plant bug that eats on cacti, "Opunita" known as
"prickly pear. The Spaniards brought it back from Mexico after the
OK! now I am tired! Put this where you may...but hopefully somebody
will find some interest in it.
(who is still wondering about the snowball bush in front of her window)