I was trying to find another article and came across this one of mordanting
linen, also has some tips on making the color last as long as possible on
your linen. http://www.housedragonor.org/A&S/Mordanting.html
and this http://www.geocities.com/anne_liese_w/Dyeing/dyehistory.htm
and this http://homepage.mac.com/festive_attyre/research/dyes/dyeing.html
and lastly this one http://costume.dm.net/dyes/zieglerdyebook.html
Arghh, I give up for now, I can't seem to find the article I remembered
reading a couple of years back about which natural dyes overdyed over a
first natural dye make other colors like green. crap maybe it was a bunch of
emails back a few years on this list.
off to hang jeans up and finish a kid's tunic or two...
Kennyeca sent: Wednesday, February 08, 2006
> The European plant-based dyes that bond with cellulose (cotton, linen
> and other plant fibres) are indigotin (woad, indigo) for blue,
> luteolin ( dyer's broom, weld and others) for yellow, and alizarin
> (plants of the madder family) for red. Depending on the mordant,
> (usually either tannin or a metalic salt that will link with both the
> fibre and the dye, forming an insoluable bond, a process that is also
> the basis of tanning leather, by the way...) the colour of the
> finished dye can be varied, and the fabric can be dyed more than once.
> Yellow over blue gives green, red over blue gives purple, etc.
> Yellows from weld are very fast to light and washing, and being a
> light colour, don't show crocking as obviously as darker colours.
> If you choose shades of yellow, indigo(bluejean blue) or brick-ish
> kinds of red, plus brown, only medium or lighter, you are fairly safe.
> Modern fabric is also bleached pure white before dying to make the
> colours look "pure". They wouldn't have done this the same way, so
> the colours would have been "muddier". You can often "adjust" colours
> that look a bit too bright by overdying with a bit of tan or grey,
> added when you wash the fabric before making it up. DO avoid
> turquoise blues and anything day-glo. These are obviously modern
> dyes. Linen is naturally a sort of sandy-grey colour before it is
> bleached, and bleaching was a long and time comsuming task. They
> would NOT have bleached linen white, then dyed it beige or light grey.
> If you want those tones, buy unbleached linen. Trying to do more
> than tint linen slightly with ordinary home dyes is pretty iffy. The
> colour will forever after bleed in the wash. Dark linens were
> certainly used, but only in places like lining other fabrics that
> would not be washed, and these lining fabrics were often finished by
> rubbing the surface to a high gloss with glass or stone burnishers,
> sort of like chintz, before they were used.
> I know, no quick or easy answers here...8-)