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Re: [AandS50ChallengeCommunity] dyeing

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  • lilinah-h
    ... Cotton was grown in al-Andalus, Muslim Spain, and i would suspect it was traded with Christian Spain. There are entire books written on Andalusi trade, so
    Message 1 of 40 , Feb 2, 2013
      >On Wed, Jan 30, 2013 at 3:24 PM, Dianna <avacyn@...> wrote:
      >> You would have worn cotton, linen and wool. Cotton at that time was used
      >> to make very expensive over-garments as it was considered a luxury
      >> fiber, imported from the Middle Eastern and African states. Don't
      >> believe the people who say that cotton wasn't period, it was for many
      >> places, among them being Spain. Women did wear lighter clothes in summer
      >> and wool in wet and cooler weather. So having a cotton or linen over
      >> dress with linen under dress for summer would be fine. Just go for
      >> bright colors, clashing colors and lots of embroidery.

      > Except that I couldn't have gotten bright colors on linen or cotton?
      > Sigh. Confusing.
      > Asther

      Cotton was grown in al-Andalus, Muslim Spain, and i would suspect it was traded with Christian Spain. There are entire books written on Andalusi trade, so i'm sure you could find out how much cotton and whether unspun, spun, or cloth, and if dyed.

      Cotton and linen could not be dyed very well with most dyes, however, so not lots of bright clashing colors of linen and cotton.

      The one almost fool-proof dye for cotton and linen is indigo. So you could wear a range of indigo blues. Indigo is not like the lovely ultramarine found in miniatures, however. Indigo is a warmer, somewhat duller color. Within period there was no way to make an ultramarine dye, as that pigment came from ground lapis lazuli mineral.

      Other colors i've seen cotton or linen dyed are:
      Brick red from madder - i have not seen the brighter tomato soup madder red on cotton or linen, only on wool.
      Deep yellow from weld - i have only seen this on cotton or linen infrequently, but it is a possibility.

      Also, color combinations within one cloth were not just random, there were definitely preferred combinations. Silk cloth combining woven-in red and yellow patterns is pretty common in most places; red and white woven patterns also fairly common. Silk cloth combining indigo blue and yellow woven patterns is not uncommon.

      Check museum collections on-line for fragments of silk from your preferred culture and time period to get some idea of the colors prevalent when your persona was around.

      I would also expect that there were fashions on color combinations when wearing multiple, different colored garments. This might be harder to figure out, since paintings rarely can be counted on to accurately represent the colors people were wearing before the Renaissance, and the Renaissance reached different places at different times.

      Urtatim (that' oor-tah-TEEM)
    • lilinah-h
      ... Trying to dye cotton is as difficult as trying to dye linen, as both are cellulose fibers and they don t take most natural dyes. They can be colored, but
      Message 40 of 40 , Feb 6, 2013
        Vasilisa wrote:
        > Actually, I believe cotton dyes quite easily. It is on linen that most (natural) dyes
        > don't take.

        Trying to dye cotton is as difficult as trying to dye linen, as both are cellulose fibers and they don't take most natural dyes.

        They can be colored, but the dye will not be fast and will fade and/or wash out. This is not considered desirable. Also, the color tends to be rather pale, also not a desirable trait within SCA-period.

        Both can be readily dyed with indigo, which is a vat dye and does not require a mordant. Any other dyes are much more difficult, if not nearly impossible to reach a saturated intense color. Madder is one of the few, but there are tricks to dyeing cotton and linen with madder, which Europeans didn't know until after the end of SCA-period, but which were used in the Middle East.

        Modernly cotton does dye well with FIBER REACTIVE DYES, as do linen, rayon, hemp, ramie, bamboo, and nettle. Procion dyes were the first readily available fiber reactive dye and they were introduced in 1956, well out of SCA-period. Fiber reactive dyes do not require mordants and dye in cold water, and are light fast and color fast (i.e., don't wash out). They often need a base added to make the water alkaline.

        I have limited experience dyeing (i took two dyeing classes in university) -- with natural dyes and with the mordants alum, tin, and chrome on a range of fibers/fabrics including cotton. Also with modern chemical indigo, with acid dyes (bubble bubble toil and trouble), and with Procion dyes. I prefer natural dyes, but while they work well on protein fibers -- wool and silk -- they don't work well on cellulose fibers -- linen and cotton.

        Urtatim (that's oor-tah-TEEM)
        the persona formerly known as Anahita
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