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The Household Cyclopedia

DYING, in all its Varieties.


The art of dyeing has for its object the fixing permanently of a color of a definite shade upon stuffs. The stuffs are animal, as silk wool, and feathers, or vegetable, as cotton and linen. The former take the colors much more readily, and they are more brilliant.

In some cases, as in dyeing silk and wool with coaltar colors, the color at once unites with the fiber; generally, however, a process of preparation is necessary. In certain other cases, as in dyeing silk and wool yellow by nitric acid, the color is due to a change in the stuff, and is not properly dyeing.

Insoluble colors are managed by taking advantage of known chemical changes; thus chromate of lead (chrome yellow) is precipitated by dipping the stuff into solutions, first of acetate of lead, and then of bichromate of potassa.

Mordants (bindermittle, middle binder of the Germans) are bodies which, by their attraction for organic matter, adhere to the fibre of the stuff, and also to the coloring matter. They are applied first, but in domestic dyeing they are often mixed with the dye-stuff. By the use of a mordant, a dye which would wash out is rendered permanent.

Some mordants modify the color; thus alum brightens madder, giving a light-red, while iron darkens it, giving a purple.


The principal mordants are alum, cubic-alum, acetate of alumina, protochloride of tin, bichloride of tin, sulphate of iron, acetate of iron, tannin, stannate of soda.


The materials used in dyeing are numerous; the following are the most important: Madder, indigo, logwood, quercitron, or oak-bark, Brazil wood, sumach, galls, weld, annato, turmeric, alkanet, red launders, litmus or archil, cudbear, cochineal, lac; and the following mineral substances: ferrocyanide of potassium, bichromate of potash, cream of tartar, lime-water, and verdigris.

Coal-tar Colors.

Are made under patents, and on the large scale. The receipts for their manufacture will, therefore, not be given; in many cases, indeed, they are kept secret. Especial instructions as to their use will be found at the end of the article.

Other Materials.

A bath of cow's dung is used after mordanting vegetable fibres, to remove the excess of mordant. A solution of silicate of soda has been lately used as a substitute.

Albumen, or gluten, is used to thicken the colors for printing, and sometimes to fix them. The colors are incorporated with the albumen applied to the stuff. By exposure to heat the albumen is coagulated and the color fixed.

Silicate of Soda, as a Means of Fixing Mordants.

The use of silicate of soda in calico printing has the advantage of rendering the colors deeper than when the dung-bath alone is used. In reference to the action of this salt, it is worthy of remark that alkaline silicates exist in cow-dung, which according to Rogers, contains 17.5 per cent. of solid substance, 15 per cent. of this ash; so that the fresh dung contains 2.6 per cent. of ash, and the ash contains 62.5 per cent. of silica. A large portion of this silica is in the insoluble condition, but the quantity of soluble silica is not inconsiderable. The soluble portion of the ash amounts to 38 per cent., and of this 12 per. cent. is silica, and 10 per cent. potash and soda. There is, therefore, reason for regarding silicate of soda as the efficient ingredient of cow-dung.


Used as mordant for silk and wool, is then dissolved in water. If it contain iron, reds will be injured. It is a sulphate of alumina combined with sulphate of potassa or ammonia. The alumina is the active mordant. Ammonia alum may be distinguished from potash alum by adding a little caustic potash to the powder; if ammonia exist it will be given off, and may be easily recognized by its pungent smell.

Cubic Alum

Is much used. It is made by adding carbonate of soda to alum until the precipitate, at first thrown down, is redissolved. If too much be added a permanent precipitate will be formed. It yields its alumina much more readily to organic matter than common alum.

Acetate of Alumina.

Used for COTTON and LINEN. When heated the acetic acid is driven off, and the alumina remains in the fibre. It is made by adding a solution of acetate (sugar) of lead to a solution of alum as long as any precipitate is formed, or take 8 1/2 lbs. alum, 6 1/4 lbs. sugar of lead; dissolve each in 2 galls. of boiling water. Mix and allow to settle.

Bichloride of Tin (Salt of Tin, Nitromuriate of Tin).

Take 4 lbs. of commercial nitric acid, 1/2 lb. sal ammoniac; put it in a stone vessel, and add 1/2 lb. of pure granulated tin, or dissolve granulated tin in a mixture of 2 parts muriatic to 1 of nitric acid as long as any is taken up.

Protochloride of Tin.

Dissolve granulated tin in hot muriatic acid as long as any is taken up. Cream of tarter is generally added to the alum and tin bath.


Used for dyeing dark shades in wool. It is made by dissolving clean iron in dilute sulphuric acid and crystallizing. An inferior kind is made from pyrites. It contains iron in the forte of protoxide. On exposure to the air, however, more oxygen is taken up, and, as in the case of all the salts of the protoxide of iron, sesquioxide is formed. This is a powerful mordant, as may be seen by the tenacity with which iron mould adheres to stuffs.

Acetate of Iron.

Is made by dissolving iron scraps in acetic or pyroligneous acid. It is preferred for dyeing vegetable fibres.

Nitrate of Iron.

Take 10 1/4 lbs. each nitric and muriatic acids, and add little by little 72 1/2 lbs. of copperas dissolved in water.

Preperation for Dyeing.

Wool requires to be scoured; raw silk to be ungummed; cotton to be sheared, singed, and bleached. (See BLEACHING AND SCOURING.)

To Determine the Effects of Various Salts or Mordants on Colors.

The Dye of Madder,

For a madder red on woolens, the best quantity of madder is 1/2 of the weight of the woollens that are to be dyed, the best proportion of salts to be used, is 5 parts of alum and 1 of red tartar, for 16 parts of the stuff.

A variation in the proportions of the salts, wholly alters the color that the madder naturally gives. If the alum is lessened, and the tartar increased, the dye proves a red cinnamon. If the alum be entirely omitted, the red wholly disappears, and a durable tawny cinnamon is produced.

If woollens are boiled in weak pearlash and water, the greater part of the color is destroyed. A solution of soap discharges part of the color, and leaves the remaining more beautiful.

Volatile alkalies heighten the red color of the madder, but they make the dye fugitive.

To Dye Wool and Woollen Cloths of a Blue Color.

Dissolve 1 part of indigo in 4 parts of concentrated sulphuric acid; to the solution add 1 part of dry carbonate of potass, and then dilute it with 8 times its weight of water. The cloth must be boiled for an hour in a solution containing 6 parts of alum and 3 of tartar, for every 32 parts of cloth. It is then to be thrown into a water-bath, previously prepared, containing a greater or smaller proportion of diluted sulphate of indigo, according to the shade which the cloth is intended to receive. In this bath it must be boiled till it has acquired the wished-for color.

The only coloring matters employed in dyeing blue, are woad and indigo.

Indigo has a very strong affinity for wool, silk, cotton, and linen. Every kind of cloth, therefore, may be dyed with it without the assistance of any mordant whatever. The color thus induced is very permanent. But indigo can only be applied to cloth in a state of solution. and the only solvent known is sulphuric acid. The sulphate of indigo is often used to dye wool and silk blue, and is known by the name of Saxon blue.

It is not the only solution of that pigment employed in dyeing. By far the most common method is, to deprive indigo of its blue color and reduce it to green, and then to dissolve it in water by means of alkalies. Two different methods are employed for this purpose. The first is, to mix with indigo a solution of green oxide of iron, and different metallic sulphurets. If therefore indigo, lime, and green sulphate of iron are mixed together in water, the indigo gradually loses its blue color, becomes green, and is dissolved. The second method is, to mix the indigo in water with certain vegetable substances which readily undergo fermentation; the indigo is dissolved by means of quicklime or alkali, which is added to the solution.

The first of these methods is usually followed by dyeing cotton and linen; the second in dyeing wool and silk.

In the dyeing of wool, woad and bran are commonly employed as vegetable ferments, and lime as the solvent of the green base of the indigo. Woad itself contains a coloring matter precisely similar to indigo; and by following the common process, indigo may be extracted from it. In the usual state of woad when purchased by the dyer, the indigo which it contains is probably not far from the state of green pollen. Its quantity in woad is but small, and it is mixed with a great proportion of other vegetable matter.

When the cloth is first taken out of the vat, it is of a green color; but it soon becomes blue. It ought to be carefully washed, to carry off the uncombined particles. This solution of indigo is liable to two inconveniences: first, it is apt sometimes to run too fast into the putrid fermentation; this may be known by the putrid vapors which it exhales, and by the disappearance of the green color. In this state it would soon destroy the indigo altogether. The inconvenience is remedied by adding more lime, which has the property of moderating the putrescent tendency. Secondly, sometimes the fermentation goes on too languidly. This defect is remedied by adding more bran or woad, in order to diminish the proportion of thick lime.

To make Chemic Blue and Green.

Chemic for light blues and greens, on silk, cotton or woollen, and for cleaning and whitening cottons, is made by the following process:

Take 1 lb. of the best oil of vitriol, which put upon 1 oz. of the best indigo, well pounded and sifted; add to this after it has been well stirred, a small lump of common pearlash as big as a pea, or from that to the size of 2 peas; this will immediately raise a great fermentation, and cause the indigo to dissolve in minuter and finer particles than otherwise. As soon as this fermentation ceases, put it into a bottle tightly corked, and it may be used the next day. Observe, if more than the quantity prescribed of pearlash should be used, it will deaden and sully the color.

Chemic for green, as above for blue is made by only adding one-fourth more of the oil of vitriol.

To Discharge Colors.

The dyers generally put all colored silks which are to be discharged, into a copper in which 1/2 a lb. or 1 lb. of white soap has been dissolved. They are then boiled off, and when the copper begins to be too full of color, the silks are taken out and rinsed in warm water. In the interim a fresh solution of soap is to be added to the copper, and then proceed as before till all the color is discharged. For those colors that are wanted to be effectually discharged, such as greys, cinnamons, etc., when soap does not do, tartar must be used. For slate colors, greenish drabs, olive drabs, etc., oil of vitriol in warm water must he used; if other colors, alum must be boiled in the copper, then cooled down and the silks entered and boiled off, recollecting to rinse them before they are again dyed. A small quantity of muriatic acid, diluted in warm water, must be used to discharge some fast colors; the goods must be afterwards well rinsed in warm and cold water to prevent any injury to the stalk.

To Discharge Cinnamons, Grays, etc., when Dyed Too Full.

Take some tartar, pounded in a mortar, sift it into a bucket, then pour over it some boiling water. The silks, etc., may then be run through the cleanest of this liquor, which will discharge the color; but if the dye does not take on again evenly, more tartar may be added, and the goods run through as before.

To Re-Dye or Change the Color of Garments, etc.

The change of color depends upon the ingredients with which the garments have been dyed. Sometimes when these have been well cleaned, more dyeing stuff must be added, which will afford the color intended; and sometimes the color already on the cloth must be discharged and the article redyed

Every color in nature will dye black, whether blue, yellow, red, or brown, and black will always dye black again. All colors will take the same color again which they already possess, and blues can be made green or black; green may be made brown, and brown green, and every color on re-dyeing will take a darker tint than at first.

Yellows, browns, and blues, are not easily discharged; maroons, reds of some kinds, olives, etc. may be discharged.

For maroons, a small quantity of alum may be boiled in a copper, and when it is dissolved, put in the goods, keep them boiling, and probably in a few minutes, enough of it will be discharged to take the color intended.

Olives, grays, etc., are discharged by putting in 2 or 3 tablespoonfuls, more or less, of oil of vitriol; then put in the garment, etc., and boil, and it will become white. If chemic green, either alum, pearlash, or soap will discharge it off to the yellow; this yellow may mostly be boiled off with soap, if it has received a preparation for taking the chemic blue. Muriatic acid used at a hand heat will discharge most colors. A black may be dyed maroon, claret, green, or a dark brown; and it often happens that black is dyed claret, green, or dark brown, but green is the principal color into which black is changed.

To Alum Silks.

Silk should be alumed cold, for when it is alumed hot, it is deprived of a great part of its lustre. The alum liquor should always be strong for silks, as they take the dye more readily afterwards.

To Dye Silk Blue.

Silk is dyed light blue by a ferment of 6 parts of bran, 6 of indigo, 6 of potassa, and 1 of madder. To dye it of a dark blue, it must previously receive what is called a ground-color; a red dyestuff, called archil, is used for this purpose.

Prussian Blue.

A mordant is prepared of nitrate of iron, 1 pt.; 8 oz. of bichloride of tin crystals, 1/2 oz. of oil of vitriol, and 10 galls. of water. Another liquid is prepared by dissolving 4 oz. of red or yellow prussiate of potash, according to the shade desired. The silks are to be alternately handled in these for 10 minutes, 6 times. After each handling they are washed in cream of tartar water.

To Dye Cotton and Linen Blue.

Cotton and linen are dyed blue by a solution of 1 part of indigo, 1 part of green sulphate of iron, and 2 parts of quicklime.

Yellow Dyes.

The principal coloring matters for dyeing yellow, are weld, fustic, and quercitron bark. Yellow coloring matters have too weak an affinity for cloth, to produce permanent colors without the use of mordants. Cloth, therefore, before it is dyed yellow, is always prepared by soaking it in alumina. Oxide of tin is sometimes used when very fine yellows are wanting. Tan is often employed as subsidiary to alumina, and in order to fix it more copiously on cotton and linen. Tartar is also used as an auxiliary, to brighten the color; and muriate of soda, sulphate of lime, and even sulphate of iron, to render the shade deeper. The yellow dye by means of fustic is more permanent, but not so beautiful as that given by weld, or quercitron. As it is permanent, and not much injured by acids, it is often used in dyeing compound colors, where a yellow is required. The mordant is alumina. When the mordant is oxide of iron, fustic dyes a good permanent drab color. Weld and quercitron bark yield nearly the same kind of color; but the bark yields coloring matter in greater abundance and is cheaper than weld. The method of using each of these dye-stuffs is nearly the same.

To Dye Woollens Yellow.

Wool may be dyed yellow by the following process; let it be boiled for an hour, or more, with above 1-6 of its weight of alum, dissolved in a sufficient quantity of water as a mordant. It is then to be plunged, without being rinsed, into a bath of warm water, containing as much quercitron bark as equals the weight of the alum employed as a mordant. The cloth is to be turned through the boiling liquid, till it has acquired the intended color. Then, a quantity of clean powdered chalk, equal to the 100th part of the weight of the cloth, is to be stirred in, and the operation of dyeing continued for 8 or 10 minutes longer. By this method a pretty deep and lively yellow may be given.

For very bright orange, or golden yellow, it is necessary to use the oxide of tin as a mordant. For producing bright golden yellows, some alum must be added along with the tin. To give the yellow a delicate green shade, tartar must be added in different proportions, according to the shade.

To Dye Silks Yellow.

Silk may be dyed of different shades of yellow, either by weld or quercitron bark, but the last is the cheapest of the two. The proportion should be from 1 to 2 parts of bark, to 12 parts of silk, according to the shade. The bark, tied up in a bag, should be put in the dyeing vessel, whilst the water which it contains is cold, and when it has acquired the heat of about 100°, the silk, having been previously alumed, should be dipped in, and continued, till it has assumed the wished-for color. When the shade is required to be deep, a little chalk or pearlash should be added towards the end of the operation. Silk and wool may be dyed a fine yellow by picric acid; 15 1/2 grains will color 2 lbs. of silk. No mordant is necessary. Various shades may be obtained by using solutions of different strength.

To Dye Cottons and Linens Yellow.

The mordant should be acetate of alumina, prepared by dissolving 1 part of acetate of lead, and 3 parts of alum, in a sufficient quantity of water. This solution should be heated to the temperature of 100°, the cloth should be soaked in it for 2 hours, then wrung out and dried. The soaking may be repeated, and the cloth again dried as before. It is then to be barely wetted with lime-water, and afterwards dried. The soaking in the acetate of alumina may be again repeated; and if the shade of yellow is required to be very bright and durable, the alternate wetting with lime-water and soaking in the mordant may be repeated 3 or 4 times.

The dying-bath is prepared by putting 12 or 18 parts of quercitron bark (according to the depth of the shade required), tied up in a bag, into a sufficient quantity of cold water. Into this bath the cloth is to be put, and turned in it for an hour, while its temperature is gradually raised to about 120°. It is then to be brought to a boiling heat, and the cloth allowed to remain in it only for a few minutes. If it is kept long at a boiling heat, the yellow acquires a shade of brown.

Golden (Chrome) Yellow on Cotton.

Heat till boiling,, stirring all the time, 8 1/2 oz. sugar of lead, 16 1/2 oz. litharge, 3 galls. of water. Keep boiling about 10 minutes; leave to settle, decant, and while warm, handle carefully in it the bleached cotton. When the cotton is thoroughly impregnated with the subacetate of lead of the bath, dry it by a gentle heat, and bundle it in a bath of 8 1/2 oz. bichromate of potassa and 4 oz. of nitric acid. Wash well with warm water. Afterwards dip it into a bath of 2 drs. saffron to 1 qt. of strong alcohol, until the desired tint is acquired. - Ulrich.


Coal-tar colors are made from aniline, carbolic or phenic acid and naphthaline, bodies obtained directly or indirectly from the distillation of coal. The following, among others, have been obtained from aniline, aniline purple, violine, rosein, bleu de Paris, magenta, mauve, fuchsine, Tyrian purple, night blue, aniline black, emeraldine. These may be divided into two groups: the reds as magenta, made by the action of bichlorides of carbon, tin or mercury on aniline, and the purples as mauve, made by the action of oxidizing agents, as bichromate of potassa.

Picric acid is obtained by the action of nitric acid upon phenic acid, the coal-tar creasote; it is a fine yellow. Artificial alzarin, carminaphtha, etc., obtained from naphthaline, are not employed practically in dyeing.

Chrysammic acid is made by the action of nitric acid on aloes; it gives blues, purples and greens, which are very solid.

Chinese Green, apparently identical with the lo-kao, is obtained from the bark of the Rhamnus catharticus (Buckthorn).

Murexide, a splendid purple, is obtained from guano by the action of nitric acid. It has been displaced by the aniline purples.

Molybdate of ammonia gives a magnificent and permanent blue to silks.

To Dye Silk and Wool with Coal-tar Colors.

Silk and wool can be dyed with all these colors, except the roseolates. Many of them, as aniline purple and violine, are taken from their solutions so perfectly as to leave the menstruum colorless. The coloring matters are generally dissolved in alcohol; for silks, this is diluted with eight times its bulk of hot water, slightly acidulated with tartaric acid; this is poured into the dye-bath, which consists of cold water, slightly acidulated. For wool, the solutions are cold, and acids are to be avoided as much as possible, as the colors are not so fine when they are used.

Red Dyes.

The coloring matters employed for dyeing red are archil, madder, carthamus, kermes, cochineal, and Brazilwood.

To Dye Woollens Red, Crimson, and Scarlet.

Coarse woollen stuffs are dyed red with madder or archil, but fine cloth is almost exclusively dyed with cochineal, though the color which it receives from kermes is much more durable. Brazil-wood is scarcely used, except as an auxiliary, because the color which it imparts to wool is not permanent.

Wool is died crimson, by first impregnating it with alumine by means of an alum bath, and then boiling it in a decoction of cochineal till it has acquired the wished-for color. The crimson will be finer if the tin-mordant is substituted for alum; indeed, it is usual with dyers to add a little bichloride when they want fine crimsons. The addition of archil and potass to the cochineal both renders the crimson darker and gives it more bloom, but the bloom very soon vanishes. For paler crimsons, one-half of the cochineal is withdrawn, and madder substituted in its place.

Wool may be died scarlet by first boiling it in a solution of protochloride of tin, then dyeing it pale yellow with quercitron bark, and afterwards crimson with cochineal, for scarlet is a compound color, consisting of crimson mixed with a little yellow.

To Carry the Color into the Body of the Cloth.

Make the moistened cloth pass through between rollers placed within at the bottom of the dye-vat, so that the web passing from one windlass through the dye-vat, and being strongly compressed by the rollers in its passage to another windlass, all the remaining water is driven out, and is replaced by the coloring liquid, so as to receive color into its very centre. The winding should be continued backwards and forwards from one windlass to the other, and through the rolling-press, till the dye is of sufficient intensity.

To Dye Silks Red, Crimson, etc.

Silk is usually dyed red with cochineal or carthamus, and sometimes with Brazil-wood. Kermes does not answer for silk; madder is scarcely ever used for that purpose, because it does not yield a color bright enough. Archil is employed to give silk a bloom, but it is scarcely ever used by itself, unless when the color wanted is lilac.

Silk may be dyed crimson by steeping it in a solution of alum, and then dyeing it in the usual way in a cochineal bath.

The colors known by the names of poppy, cherry, rose, and flesh-color, are given to silk by means of carthamus. The process consists merely in keeping the silk as long as it extracts any color in an alkaline solution of carthamus, into which as much lemon-juice as gives it a fine cherry-red color, has been poured.

Silk cannot be dyed a full scarlet, but a color approaching to scarlet may be given to it by first impregnating the stuff with protochloride of tin, and afterwards dyeing it in a bath composed of 4 parts of cochineal and 4 parts of quercitron hark. To give the color more body, both the mordant and the dye may be repeated.

A color approaching to scarlet may be given to silk by first dyeing it in crimson, then dyeing it with carthamus, and lastly yellow, without heat

To Dye Linens and Cottons Red. Scarlet, etc.

Cotton and linen are dyed red with madder. The process was borrowed from the East; hence the color is often called Adrianople, or Turkey red. The cloth is first impregnated with oil, then with galls, and lastly with alum. It is then boiled for an hour in a decoction of madder which is commonly mixed with a quantity of blood. After the cloth is dyed it is plunged into a soda lye, in order to brighten the color. The red given by this process is very permanent, and when properly conducted it is exceedingly beautiful. The whole difficulty consists in the application of the mordant, which is by far the most complicated employed in the whole art of dyeing.

Solferino, aniline green, etc., are obtained from coal tar. The silk is dyed without mordant.

Turkey-red on Cotton.

The cotton goods are cleaned regularly with soap made from cocoanut or palm oil, and a copper proportioned to the quantify of work; from 10 yds. to 100 yds. is made to boil, and when it boils the water is merely softened with pearlash, and then some of the palm-oil soap put in to make a soap liquor; put the cottons in this, boil 1/2 hour, have a tub with clean hot soap-liquor in it, handle the work well in this, wring it out and hang it up to dry. The next process is to beat up sheep and cow-dung, ash and water together until you have a paste; work this through a sieve into a clean copper, and put to it one-fourth of its bulk of sweet oil. Stir all together, with a fire under the copper, until a soap is formed. Add double its bulk of water. The cotton is well handled in this and allowed to dry overnight. In the morning it has a palm soap liquor wrung out well and dried, and when dry is regularly cleaned in cocoanut-oil soap and dried again. Next give it a strong nut-gall liquor, and then a strong, hot alum; give it an hour in the alum, then return to the nut gall liquor again for an hour, and then another hour in the alum; wring it out and dry it. In a clean copper put for every 3 pails of water 1 lb. of the best madder and 1 qt. of horses' sheeps', pigs' or bullocks' blood; get the copper on to a scald, and handle in it, but do not boil; keep it in an hour, and then give it a good strong alum and hot water for 1/2 an hour; rinse in two waters and return to the blood and madder copper for half an hour; rinse dry and clean in very hot and strong soap liquors; dry, give them a weak starch for a finish. - Love's Art of Dyeing, etc.

Black Dyes.

The substance employed to give a black color to cloth, are red oxide of iron and tannin, also bichromate of potassa and logwood. These substances have a strong affinity for each other, and when combined assume a deep black color, not liable to be destroyed by the action of air or light.

Logwood is usually employed as an auxiliary because it communicates lustre, and adds considerably to the fulness of the black. It is the wood of a tree which is a native of several of the West India islands, and of that part of Mexico which surrounds the bay of Honduras. It yields its coloring matter to water. The decoction is at first a fine red, bordering on violet, but if left to itself it gradually assumes a black color. Acids give it a deep red color; alkalies, a deep violet, inclining to brown; sulphute of iron renders it as black as ink, and occasions a precipitate of the same color.

Cloth, before it receives a black color, is usually dyed blue; this renders the color much fuller and finer than it would otherwise be. If the cloth is coarse, the blue dye may be too expensive; in that case a brown color is given by means of walnut-peels.

To Dye Woollens Black.

Wool is dyed black by the following process: It is boiled for 2 hours in a decoction of nut-galls and afterwards kept for 2 hours more in a bath composed of logwood and sulphate of iron, kept during the whole time at a scalding heat, but not boiling. During the operation it must be frequently exposed to the air, because the green oxide of iron of which the sulphate is composed must be converted into red oxide by absorbing oxygen before the cloth can require a proper color. The common proportions are 5 parts of galls, 5 of sulphate of iron and 30 of logwood for every 100 of cloth. A little acetate of copper is commonly added to the sulphate of iron, because it is thought to improve the color.

To Dye Wool a Chrome Black.

Having cleaned the wool with soap and cream of tartar, take 4 oz. each of bichromate of potash and crude tartar to a copper of water, put in the merino, boil for 40 minutes, and, after cooling, immerse in a bath made from 4 oz. logwood chips with one-fourth of fustic chips to a copper of water.

To Dye Silks Black.

Silk is dyed in nearly the same manner. It is capable of combining with a great deal of tan, the quantity given is varied at the pleasure of the artist, by allowing the silk to remain a longer or shorter time in the decoction.

To Dye Cottons and Linens Black.

The cloth, previously dyed blue, is steeped for 24 hours in a decoction of nut-galls. A bath is prepared containing acetate of iron, formed by saturating acetic acid with sesquioxide of iron; into this bath the cloth is put in small quantities at a time, wrought with the hand for a quarter of an hour; then wrung out and aired again, wrought in a fresh quantity of the bath, and afterwards aired. These alternate processes are repeated till the color wanted is given; a decoction of alder bark is usually mixed with the liquor containing the nut-galls.

To Dye Wool, etc., Brown.

Brown, or fawn color, though in fact a compound, is usually ranked among the simple colors because it is applied to cloth by a single process. Various substances are used for brown dyes.

Walnut-peels, or the green covering of the walnut, when first separated, are white internally, but soon assume a brown, or even a black color, on exposure to the air. They readily yield their coloring matter to water. They are usually kept in large casks, covered with water, for above a year before they are used. To dye wool brown with them, nothing more is necessary than to steep the cloth in a decoction of them till it has acquired the wished-for color. The depth of the shade is proportional to the strength of the decoction.

The root of the walnut-tree contains the same coloring matter, but in smaller quantity. The bark of the birch also, and many other trees, may be used for the same purpose.

To Dye Compound Colors.

Compound colors are produced by mixing together two simple ones; or, which is the same thing, by dyeing cloth first of the simple color, and then by another. These colors vary to infinity, according to the proportions of the ingredients employed.

From blue, red and yellow, red olives and greenish grays are made.

From blue, red and brown, olives are made from the lightest to the darkest shades, and by giving a greater shade of red, the slated and lavender grays are made.

From blue, red and black, grays of all shades are made, such as sage, pigeon, slate and lead grays. The king's or prince's color is duller than usual; this mixture produces a variety of hues, or colors almost to infinity.

From yellow, blue and brown, are made the goose dung and olives of all kinds.

From brown, blue and black, are produced brown olives and their shades.

From red, yellow and brown, are derived the orange, gold color, feuille-mort or faded leaf, dead carnations, cinnamon, fawn, and tobacco, by using 2 or 3 of the colors as required.

From yellow, red and black, browns of every shade are made.

From blue and yellow, greens of all shades.

From red and blue, purples of all kinds are formed.

To Dye Different Shades of Green.

Green is distinguishable by dyers into a variety of shades, according to the depth or the prevalence of either of the component parts. Thus we have sea-green, grass-green, pea-green, etc.

Wool, silk, and linen, are usually dyed green by giving them first a blue color, and afterwards dyeing them yellow. When the yellow is first given, several inconveniences follow;; the yellow partly separates again in the blue vat, and communicates a green color to it, thus rendering it useless for every other purpose except dyeing green. Any of the usual processes for dyeing blue and yellow may be followed, taking care to proportion the depth of the shades to that of the green required.

When sulphate of indigo is employed, it is usual to mix all the ingredients together, and to dye the cloth at once; this produces what is known by the name of Saxon or English green.

To Dye Violet, Purple and Lilac.

Wool is generally first dyed blue, and afterwards scarlet, in the usual manner. By means of cochineal mixed with sulphate of indigo, the process may be performed at once. Silk is first dyed crimsons by means of cochineal, and then dipped into the indigo vat. Cotton and linen are first dyed blue, and then dipped in a decoction of logwood, but a more permanent color is given by means of oxide of iron.

To Dye Olive, Orange and Cinnamon.

When blue is combined with red and yellow on cloth, the resulting color is olive. Wool may be dyed orange by first dyeing it scarlet and then yellow. When it is dyed first with madder, the result is a cinnamon color.

Silk is dyed orange by means of carthamus; a cinnamon color by logwood, Brazil-wood and fustic mixed together.

Cotton and linen receive a cinnamon color by means of weld and madder, and an olive color by being passed through a blue, yellow, and then a madder bath.

To Dye Gray, Drab and Dark Brown.

If cloth is previously mordanted with iron, and afterwards dyed yellow with quercitron bark, the result will be a drab of different shades, according to the proportion of mordant employed. When the proportion is small, the color inclines to olive or yellow; on the contrary, the drab may be deepened, or saddened, as the dyers term it, by mixing a little sumach with the bark.

To Dye a Black upon Cotton, Linen and Mixed Goods.

Take tar iron liquor of the very best quality, add to each gall. thereof 3/4 of a lb. of fine flour and boil it to the consistency of a thin paste. Put the liquor or paste above-mentioned into a tub belonging to a machine used in the process. The goods intended to be dyed are wound upon a roller, and passed through the liquor or paste, betwixt the two rollers; thereby completely staining or dyeing the whole mass or body of the cloth. Pass them into a very hot stove or drying-house till dry, then take cow's dung, put it into a large copper of water about scalding hot, and mix it well together, through which pass the piece of cloth until it be thoroughly softened. Wash the goods so dunged, extremely well in water. Take a quantity of madder, or logwood, or sumach, or all of them mixed together, as the strength of the cloth and nature of the color may require, and put them into a copper or tub of hot water, then enter the goods before mentioned in this liquor, and keep rinsing or moving them therein until they are brought up to the strength of color required. Have the goods again well washed and dried. For dyeing black, it will be proper to pass the goods a second time through the above operation, adding more or less of the dyeing-woods as before. If after the above operations the shade of color is too full, or too much upon the red hue, it will be necessary to give them a little sumach, and then run them through a liquor made from iron and owler, or alderbark.

Another Method.

Take common iron liquor, and add 3/4 of a lb. of fine flour, and by boiling bring it to the consistency of a thin paste; or instead of flour, add glue or linseed, or gum, or all of them mixed together till it is brought to a proper thickness. Then pass the goods through the machine, and follow the before-mentioned operations.

To Dye Olives, Bottle-greens, Purples, Browns, Cinnamons or Snuffs.

Take common iron liquor, or common iron liquor with alum dissolved therein, in quantity of each according to the shade of color wanted, made into a paste or liquid by adding flour, gum, glue, linseed, or one or more of them as before. Then put the liquor or paste above mentioned into a tub belonging to the machine, and pass the goods so intended to be dyed through the machine. Take them from the machine, and hang them up in a very cool room, where they are to remain till thoroughly dry. Take cow's dung, put it into a large copper of hot water, and mix it well together, through which pass the cloth or goods until thoroughly softened, the quantity of dung and time required being proportioned as before.

The goods after this process being well washed, take a quantity of liquor made from madder, logwood, sumach, fustic, Brazil-wood, quercitron bark, peach-wood, or other woods, to produce the color wanted, or more of them; and if necessary dilute this liquor with water, according to the shade or fulness of color wanted to be dyed. Then work the goods through this liquor, after which pass them through cold or warm water, according to the color, the proper application of which is well known to dyers, adding a little alum, copperas, or Roman vitriol, or two or more of them, first dissolved in water. Then wash them off in warm water and dry them. But if the color is not sufficiently full, repeat the same operations till it is brought to the shade required.

To Dye Crimson, Red, Orange, or Yellow.

Take red liquor, such as is generally made from alum, and dilute it with water according to the strength or shade of color wanted to dye, bringing it to the consistency of a paste or liquid, as before described. Then pass the cloth through the machine; which being dried in a cool room, pass it through the operations of dunging and washing as before. Take a quantity of liquor, made from cochineal, madder, peachwood, Brazil, logwood, woad, fustic, sumach, or any two or more of them proportioned in strength to the shade or color wanted to dye, and work the goods through this liquor till they are brought to the shade of color required; after which wash them in cold or warm water, and dry them.

Theureul's Mode of Graduating Shades of Color from Prussian Blue.

Impregnate each parcel of silk to be dyed with a different proportion of the oxide of iron by immersing it in a solution, the strength of which has been regulated accordingly. For the deeper tones of color employ the acetate, and for the others the chloride or sulphate. After having properly rinsed (in separate water) each parcel, it is to be dipped into distinct baths of the prussiate of potash, the quantity of which has been made to correspond with the quantity of oxide of iron previously united to it. With these precautions all the desired shades may be obtained. Those which are light and have a greenish cast should be well washed in river water, which will soon produce the blue in its purity. If this does not happen, a very weak solution of muriatic acid will produce the effect to a certainty.

To Dye Wool a Permanent Blue Color.

Take 4 oz. of the best Indigo, reduce it to a very fine powder, and add 12 lbs. of wool in the grease; put the whole into a copper large enough to contain all the wool to be dyed. As soon as the requisite color is obtained, let the wool be well washed and dried. The liquor remaining may be again used to produce lighter blues. The color will be as beautiful and permanent as the finest blue produced by woad, and the wool, by this method, will lose less in weight than if it had been previously scoured.

To Dye Silks and Satins Brown in the small way.

Fill the copper with river-water, when it gently boils put in 1/4 lb. of chipped fustic, 2 oz. of madder, 1 oz. of sumach, and 1/2 oz. of cam-wood; but if not required to be so red, the cam-wood may be omitted. These should boil at least from 1/2 an hour to 2 hours, that the ingredients may be well incorporated. The copper must then be cooled down by pouring in cold water; the goods may then be put in, and simmered gently from 1/2 an hour to 1 hour. If this color should appear to want darkening or saddening, it may be done by taking out the goods, and adding a small quantity of old black liquor; a small piece of green copperas may be used; rinse in 2 or 3 waters, and hang up to dry.

To Dye Silks of Fawn-color Drabs.

Boil 1 oz. of fustic, 1/2 oz. of alder bark, and 2 drs. of archil. From 1 to 2 drs. of the best crop madder must be added to a very small quantity of old black liquor, if it be required darker.

To Dye a Silk Shawl Scarlet.

First dissolve 2 oz. of white soap in boiling water, handle the shawl through this liquor, now and then rubbing such places with the hands as may appear dirty, till it is as clean as this water will make it. A second, or even a third liquor may be used, if required, the shawl must be rinsed out in warm water.

Then take 1/2 oz. of the best Spanish anatto, and dissolve it in hot water, pour this solution into a pan of warm water, and handle the shawl through this for 1/4 of an hour; then take it out and rinse it in clean water. In the meanwhile dissolve a piece of alum of the size of a horsebean in warm water, and let the shawl remain in this 1/2 an hour; take it out and rinse it in clear water. Then boil 1/4 oz. of the best cochineal for 20 minutes, dip it out of the copper into a pan, and let the shawl remain in this from 20 minutes to 1/2 an hour, which will make it a full blood red. Then take out the shawl, and add to the liquor in the pan 1 qt. more of that out of the copper, if there is as much remaining, and about 1/2 a small wineglassful of the solution of tin; when cold; rinse it slightly but in spring-water.

To Dye a Silk Shawl Crimson.

Take about 1 tablespoonful of cud-bear, put it into a small pan, pour boiling water upon it, stir and let it stand a few minutes, then put in the silk, and turn it over a short time, and when the color is full enough take it out; but if it should require more violet or crimson, add 1 or 2 spoonfuls of purple archil to some warm water: and dry it within doors. To finish it, it must be mangled or calendered, and may be pressed, if such a convenience is at hand.

To Dye Silk Lilac.

For every pound of silk take 1 1/2 lbs. of archil, mix it well with the liquor; make it boil 1/4 of an hour, dip the silk quickly, then let it cool, and wash it in river-water, and a fine violet or lilac, more or less full, will be obtained.

To Dye thick Silks, Satins, Silk Stockings, etc., of a Flesh-color.

Wash the stockings clean in soap and water, then rinse them in hot water; if they should not then appear perfectly clear, out 1/2 oz. of white soap into thin slices, and put it into a saucepan half full of boiling water; when this soap is dissolved, cool the water in the pan, then put in the stockings, and simmer for 20 minutes; take them out and rinse in hot water, in the interim pour 3 tablespoonfuls of purple archil into a washhandbasin half full of hot water; put the stockings in this dye-water, and when of the shade called half violet or lilac, take them from the dye-water, and slightly rinse them in cold; when dry hang them up in a close room in which sulphur is burnt; when they are evenly bleached to the shade required of flesh-color, take them from the sulphuring-room, and finish them by rubbing the right side with a clean flannel. Some persons calender them afterwards. Satins and silks are done the same way.

To Dye Silk Stockings Black.

These are dyed like other silks, excepting that they must be steeped a day or two in black liquor before they are put into the black silk dye. At first they will look like an iron gray, but, to finish and Black them, they must be put on wooden legs, laid on a table, and rubbed with the oily rubber or flannel, upon which is oil of olives, and then the more they are rubbed the better. Each pair of stockings will require 1/2 a tablespoonful of oil, at least, and 1/2 an hour's rubbing to finish them well. Sweet oil is the best in this process, as it leaves no disagreeable smell.

To Dye Straw and Chip Bonnets Black.

Chip hats being composed of the shavings of wood, are stained black in various ways. First by being boiled in strong logwood liquor 3 or 4 hours; they must be often taken out to cool in the air, and now and then a small quantity of green copperas must be added to the liquor, and this continued for several hours. The saucepan or kettle that they are dyed in may remain with the bonnets in it all night; the next morning they must be taken out and dried in the air, and brushed with a soft brush. Lastly, a sponge is dipped in oil, and squeezed almost to dryness; with this the bonnets are rubbed all over, both inside and out, and then sent to the blockers to be blocked. Others boil them in logwood; and instead of green copperas, use steel filings steeped in vinegar; after which they are finished as above.

To Dye Straw Bonnets Brown.

Take a sufficient quantity of Brazil-wood, sumach, bark, madder, and copperas, and sadden, according to the shade required.

To Remove the Stain of Light Colors from the Hands.

Wash the hands in soap and water in which some pearlash is dissolved, or wash in a paste of chloride of lime.

To Dye Black Cloth Green.

Clean the cloth well with bullock's gall and water, and rinse in warm water; then make a copper full of river water, boiling hot, and take from 1 to 1 1/2 lbs. of fustic; put it in, and boil it 20 minutes, to which add a lump of alum of the size of a walnut; when this is dissolved in the copper, put in the coat, and boil it 20 minutes; then take it out, and add a small wineglass, three parts full, of chemic blue, and boil again from 1/2 an hour to 1 hour, and the cloth will be a beautiful dark-green; then wash out and dry.

To Dye Cotton with Coal-tar Colors.

The cotton is soaked in a decoction of galls, sumach, or other astringent matter, for an hour or two, then passed into a weak solution of stannate of soda, and worked in it for about an hour. It is then wrung out in a dilute acid liquor and rinsed in water. Cotton thus prepared is of a pale yellow color. The stannate of soda may be applied before the tannin, or alum may be substituted for it. The prepared cotton is immersed in a bath of the color slightly acidulated and worked. It will absorb all the coloring matter in time, leaving the bath colorless. Picric and rosalic acids are not adapted for dyeing cotton.


This art consists in dyeing cloth with certain colors and figures upon a ground of a different hue, the colors, when they will not take hold of cloth readily, being fixed to them by means of mordants, as a preparation of alum, made by dissolving 3 lbs. of alum and 1 lb. of acetate of lead in 8 lbs. of warm water. There are added at the same time 2 oz. of potash, and 2 oz. of chalk.

Acetate of iron, also, is a mordant in frequent use in the printing of calicoes, but the simple mixture of alum and acetate of lead is found to answer best as a mordant.

To Apply the Mordants.

The mordants are applied to the cloth, either with a pencil or by means of blocks, or rollers, on which the pattern, according to which the cotton is to be printed, is cut. As they are applied only to particular parts of the cloth, care must be taken that none of them spread to the part of the cloth which is to be left white, and that they do not interfere with each other when several are applied; it is necessary, therefore, that the mordants should be of such a degree of consistence, that they will not spread beyond those parts of the cloth on which they are applied. This is done by thickening them with flour or starch, when they are to be applied by the block, and with gum arabic when they are to be put on with the pencil. The thickening should never be greater than is sufficient to prevent the spreading of the mordants; when carried too far, the cotton is apt not to be sufficiently saturated with the mordants, and of course the dye takes but imperfectly.

In order that the parts of the cloth impregnated with mordants may be distinguished by their color, it is usual to tinge the mordants with some coloring matter. The printers commonly use the decoction of Brazil-wood for this purpose.

Sometimes, the two mordants are mixed together in different proportions, and sometimes one or both is mixed with an infusion of sumach, or of nut-galls. By these contrivances a great variety of colors are produced by the same dye-stuff.

Process of Dyeing, etc.

After the mordants have been applied, the cloth must be completely dried. It is proper for this purpose to employ heat, which will contribute towards the separation of the acetic acid from its base, and towards its evaporation; by which means the mordant will combine in a greater proportion and more intimately with the cloth.

When the cloth is sufficiently dried, it is to be washed with warm water and cow-dung, till the flour or gum employed to thicken the mordants, and all those parts of the mordants which are uncombined with the cloth, are removed. After this the cloth is to be thoroughly rinsed in clean water.


Almost the only dye-stuffs employed by calico printers are indigo, madder, quercitron bark, or weld, and coal-tar colors; but weld is little used, except for delicate greenish yellows. The quercitron bark gives colors equally good; and is much cheaper and more convenient, not requiring so great a heat to fix it. Indigo, not requiring any mordant, is commonly applied at once, either by a block or by a pencil. It is prepared by boiling together indigo and potash, made caustic by quicklime and orpiment; the solution is afterwards thickened with gum. It must be carefully excluded from the air, otherwise the indigo would soon be regenerated, which would render the solution useless. Dr. Bancroft has proposed to substitute coarse brown sugar for orpiment; it is equally efficacious in decomposing the indigo, and rendering it soluble, while it likewise serves all the purposes of gum. Some calicoes are only printed of one color, others have two, and others three or more, even to the number of 8, 10, or 12. The smaller the number of colors, the fewer in general are the processes.

New Process to Separate the Red Coloring Principle of Madder.

For this purpose 3 tubs are necessary, say, A, B. C. The first, or A, sufficient for 55 lbs. of madder, is to be 2 feet 8 inches deep, and 2 feet 6 in diameter. The second, or B. is 5 1/2 feet high and 3 feet in diameter. This tub is to be furnished with 3 cocks, the first placed at 2, the second at 3, and the third at 4 feet above its bottom. A serves as a fermenting tub; B, a washing vessel; and C as a deposit. These tubs are placed near to each other, in the summer, in the open air, under a shed; in the winter, in a cellar kept at from 66° to 70°. To commence the process, put from 50 to 55 lbs. of ground madder into A, and add water stirring the mixture continually, until the madder, when at rest, is covered with an inch and a half of water. In 36 or 48 hours (being at rest) fermentation takes place and raises a crust of madder to the surface. The mass is now to be transferred to the second tub or B. which is then to be filled with water, where it is to repose for 2 hours. The uppermost cock is then opened, next the under one, and lastly the third. The liquor collected from the second and third cocks is carried to the tub C, where the precipitation of the madder that escaped from B. is completed. You may make repeated washings of the madder in B. until the water ceases to be colored. Care should be taken in summer to prevent the madder from fermenting a second time. The madder in C being washed and precipitated, is equally good with the other.

To Print Yellow.

For yellow, the block is besmeared with acetate of alumina. The cloth, after receiving this mordant, is dyed with quercitron bark, and is then bleached.

Nankeen Yellow.

One of the most common colors on cotton prints is a kind of Nankeen yellow, of various shades down to a yellowish brown or drab. It is usually in stripes or spots. To produce it, the printers besmear the block, cut out into the figure of the print, with acetate of iron, thickened with gum or flour; and apply it to the cotton, which, after being dried and cleansed in the usual manner, is plunged into a potash lye. The quantity of acetate of iron is always proportioned to the depth of the shade.


Red is communicated by the same process, only madder is substituted for the bark.


The fine light blues which appear so frequently on printed cottons, are produced by applying to the cloth a block besmeared with a composition consisting partly of wax, which covers all those parts of the cloth which remain white. The cloth is then dyed in a cold indigo vat, and after it is dry, the wax composition is removed by hot water.

Lilac and Brown.

Lilac, flea brown, and blackish brown, are given by means of acetate of iron, the quantity of which is always proportioned to the depth of the shade. For very deep colors a little sumach is added. The cotton is afterwards dyed in the usual manner with madder and then bleached


To 12 qts. of muriatic acid, add by degrees 1 qt. of nitric acid, saturate the whole with grain tin and boil it in a proper vessel till two-thirds are evaporated.

To prepare the indigo for mixing with the solution, take 9 lbs. of indigo, 1/2 pound of orange orpiment, and grind it in about 4 qts. of water; mix it well with the indigo, and grind it all in the usual way.

To Mix the Solution of Tin with Prepared Indigo.

Take 2 galls. of the indigo prepared as above; then stir into it, by degrees, 1 gall. of the solution of tin, neutralized by as much caustic alkali as can be added without precipitating the tin from the acids. For a lighter shade of green, less indigo will be necessary. The goods are to be dipped in the way of dipping China blues; they must not however, be allowed to drain, but moved from one vat to another as quickly as possible. They are to be cleansed in the usual way, in a sour vat of about 150 galls. of water to 1 gall. of sulphuric acid, they are then to be well washed in decoctions of weld, and other yellow color drugs, and are to be branned or bleached till they become white in those parts which are required colorless.

To Print Dove color and Drab.

Dove-color and drab are given by acetate of iron and quercitron bark; the cloth is afterwards prepared in the usual manner.

To Print different Colors.

When different colors are to appear in the same print, a greater number of operations is necessary. Two or more blocks or rollers are employed; upon each of which, that part of the print only is cut which is to be of some particular color. These are besmeared with different mordants and applied to the cloth, which is afterwards dyed as usual. Let us suppose, for instance, that these blocks are applied to cotton, one with acetate of alumina, another with acetate of iron, a third with a mixture of those two mordants, and that the cotton is then dyed with quercitron bark and bleached. The parts impregnated with the mordants would have the following colors:

Acetate of alumina, yellow; acetate of iron, olive, drab, dove. The mixture, olive green, olive.
If the part of the yellow is covered over with the indigo liquor applied with a pencil it will be converted into green. By the same liquid, blue may be given to such parts of the print as require it.

If the cotton is dyed with madder, instead of quercitron bark, the print will exhibit the following colors:

Acetate of alumina, red: acetate of iron, brown, black. The mixture, purple.

When a greater number of colors is to appear - for instance, when those communicated by bark, and those by madder are wanted at the same time - mordants for parts of the pattern are to be applied. The cotton then is to be dyed in the madder bath and bleached; then the rest of the mordants to fill up the pattern, are added, and the cloth is again dyed with quercitron-bark, and bleached. The second dyeing does not much affect the madder colors, because the mordants, which render them permanent, are already saturated. The yellow tinge is easily removed by the subsequent bleaching. Sometimes a new mordant is also applied to some of the madder colors; in consequence of which, they receive a new permanent color from the bark. After the last bleaching, new colors may be added by means of the indigo liquor. The following table will give an idea of the colors which may be given to cotton by these processes.

I. Madder dye. - Acetate of alumina, red; acetate of iron, brown, black; acetate diluted, lilac. Both mixed, purple.

II. Black dye. - Acetate of alumina, yellow; acetate of iron, dove, drab; lilac and acetate of alumina, olive; red and acetate of alumina, orange.

III. Indigo dye. - Indigo blue; indigo and yellow, green.

To Print in Coal-tar Colors.

The colors are mixed with albumen printed on the fibre; the albumen is then coagulated, and the color thus fixed. Another method consists in printing with tannin on the fabric, previously impregnated with stannate of soda, and then dyeing with a hot, dilute, acid bath. The color on the unmordanted parts, is easily discharged. This preparation is not necessary for silk and wool.

To Print Green with Aniline.

Print the design with a thickened solution of chlorate of potassa; pass through a solution of an aniline salt, in 2 or 3 days the green color will be developed. It may be changed to dark blue by the use of soap or an alkaline liquid. Another method is to use alternately aniline blue and picric acid.

To Prepare a Substitute for Gum Used in Calico Printing.

Collect 1/2 a ton weight of scraps of pelts or skins, or pieces of rabbit or sheep-skins, and boil them together for 7 or 8 hours in 350 galls. of water, or until it becomes a strong size. Then draw it off, and when cold weigh it. Warm it again, and to every 1 cwt. add 4 galls. of the strongest sweet wort that can be made from malt or 20 lbs. weight of sugar. When incorporated, take it off and put it into a cask for use.

This substitute for gum may be used by calico printers in mixing up nearly all kinds of colors. By using a sixth part only of gum with it, it will also improve the gum. It will also improve and preserve the paste so much used by printers.

To Prepare Anatto for dyeing.

Anatto is a coloring fecula of a resinous nature extracted from the seeds of a tree very common in the West Indies, and which in height never exceeds 15 feet.

The Indians employ two processes to obtain the red fecula of these seeds. They first pound them and mix them with a certain quantity of water which in the course of 5 or 6 days favors the progress of fermentation. The liquid then becomes charged with the coloring part, and the superfluous moisture is afterwards separated by slow evaporation over the fire, or by the heat of the sun.

Another Method.

This consists in rubbing the seeds between the hands in a vessel filled with water. The coloring part is precipitated, and forms itself into a mass like a cake of wax: but if the red fecula thus detached, is much more beautiful than in the first process, it is less in quantity. Besides, as the splendor of it is too bright, the Indians are accustomed to weaken it by a mixture of red sandal wood.

Use of Anatto.

The natives of the East India islands used formerly to employ anatto for painting their bodies etc. At present, it is employed in Europe for the purpose of dyeing. It is employed to give the first tint to woollen stuffs intended to be dyed red, blue, yellow and green, etc.

In the art of the varnisher it forms part of the composition of changing varnishes, to give a cold color to the metals to which these varnishes are applied.

To Choose Anatto.

It ought to be chosen of a flame color, brighter in the interior part than on the outside, soft to the touch and of a good consistence. The paste of anatto becomes hard in Europe, and it loses some of its odor, which approaches near to that of violets.

To Prepare Litmus.

The Canary and Cape de Verd islands produce a kind of lichen or moss, which yields a violet coloring part when exposed to the contact of ammonia disengaged from urine, in a state of putrefaction, by a mixture of lime. When the processes are finished, it is known by the name of litmus.

This article is prepared on a large scale at London Paris, and Lyons. In the latter city another kind of lichen, which grows on the rocks like moss, is employed.

The ammonia joins the resinous part of the plant, develops its coloring part, and combines with it. In this state the lichen forms a paste of a violet-red color, interspersed with whitish spots which give it a marble appearance.

Litmus is employed in dyeing to communicate a violet color to silk and woollen. It is used also for coloring the liquor of thermometers, and as a test for acids and alkalies.

To Prepare Bastard Saffron.

The flowers of this plant contain two coloring parts: one soluble in water, and which is thrown away; the other soluble in alkaline liquors. The latter coloring part becomes the basis of various beautiful shades of cherry color, ponceau, rose color, etc. It is employed for dying feathers, and constitutes the vegetable red, or Spanish vermillion, employed by ladies to heighten their complexion.

Carthamus cannot furnish its resinous coloring part, provided with all its qualities, until it has been deprived of that which is soluble in water. For this purpose the dried flowers of the carthamus are enclosed in a linen bag, and the bag is placed in a stream of running water. A man with wooden shoes gets upon the bag every eight or ten hours, and treads it on the bank until the water expressed from it is colorless.

These moist flowers, after being strongly squeezed in the bag, are spread out on a piece of canvas extended on a frame, placed over a wooden box, and covered with 5 or 6 per cent. of their weight of carbonate of soda. Pure water is then poured over them; and this process is repeated several times that the alkali may have leisure to become charged with the coloring part which it dissolves. The liquor, when filtered, is of a dirty red, and almost brown color. The coloring part, thus held in solution, cannot be employed for coloring bodies until it is free; and, to set it at liberty, the soda must be brought into contact with a body which has more affinity for it. It is on this precipitation by an intermediate substance, that the process for making Spanish vermilion is founded, as well as all the results arising from the direct application of this coloring part, in the art of dyeing.

Utility of Sheep's Dung.

This article is used in dyeing for the purpose of preparing cotton and linen to receive certain colors, particularly the red madder and crosswort, which it performs by impregnating the stuffs with an animal mucilage, of which it contains a large quantity, and thus assimilating them to wool and silk.

To Prepare Woad.

This is effected from the leaves of the plant so called, by grinding them to a paste, of which balls are made, placed in heaps, and occasionally sprinkled with water to promote the fermentation. When this is finished the woad is allowed to fall into a coarse powder, used as a blue dyestuff.

To Prepare Indigo.

This dye is derived from the leaves and the young shoots of several species of indigo plants by soaking them either in cold water, or still better, in water kept warm, and at about 160°, till the liquor becomes a deep green; it is then drawn off and beat or churned till blue flakes appear, when lime-water is added, the yellow liquor drawn off, and the blue sediment dried and formed into lumps.

To Dye Hats.

The hats should be first strongly galled by boiling them a long time in a decoction of galls with a little loqwood, that the dye may penetrate the better into their substance; after which a proper quantity of vitriol and decoction of logwood, with a little verdigris, are added, and the hats continued in this mixture for a considerable time. They are afterwards put into fresh liquor of logwood, galls, vitriol, and verdigris; and where the hats are of great price, or of a hair which with difficulty takes the dye, the same process is repeated a third time. For obtaining the most perfect color, the hair or wool is dyed blue previously to its being formed into hats.

Another Method.

Boil 100 lbs. of logwood, 12 lbs. of gum, and 6 lbs. of galls in a proper quantity of water for some hours; after which about 6 lbs. of verdigris and 10 of green vitriol are added, kept just simmering, or of a heat little below boiling. Ten or 12 dozens of hats are immediately put in, each on its block, and kept down by crossbars for about an hour and a half; they are then taken out and aired, and the same number of others put in their room. The two sets of hats are thus dipped and aired alternately 8 times each; the liquor being refreshed each time with more of the ingredients, but in less quantity than at first.

To Prove the Colors of Dyed Stuffs.

For crimson, scarlet flesh-color, violet, peachblossom, all shades of blue, and other colors bordering on these, dissolve half an ounce of alum in a pint of water, in an earthen vessel, and into this put the eighth of an ounce of the stuff or thread that is to be proved; boil the whole for five minutes, and wash it out in clean water.

For all sorts of yellow, green madder, red cinnamon, and similar colors, boil a quarter of an ounce of soap in a pint of water, put in the eighth of an ounce of the stuff to be tried, and boil for 5 minutes.

For hair-brown, etc. powder an ounce of tartar, and boil it in a pint of water, and boil 1/4 of an ounce of the stuff or thread in the solution for 5 minutes.


To Dye Bristles or Feathers Green.

Take of verdigris and verditer, each 1 oz.; gum water, 1 pt.. Mix them well, and dip the bristles or feathers (they having been first soaked in hot water) into the said mixture.

Blue. - Take of indigo and risse, each 1 oz., and a piece of alum the size of a hazelnut, put them into gumwater, and dip the materials into it hot; hang them up to dry, and clap them well that they may open; and, by changing the colors, the aforesaid materials may be in this manner, dyed of any color. For purple, use lake and indigo; for carnation, vermilion and smalt.

Red. - Take 1 oz. of Brazil-wood in powder, 1/2 oz. of alum, 1/4 oz. of vermilion, and 1 pint of vinegar; boil them up to a moderate thickness, and dip the bristles or feathers (they having been first soaked in hot water) into the said mixture. Feathers may be dyed at once of any shade, by means of coal-tar colors (p. 318).

To Dye or Color Horse-Hair.

Steep in water wherein a small quantity of turpentine has been boiled for the space of two hours, then having prepared the colors very hot, boil the hair therein, and any color, black excepted, will take, but that will only take a dark-red or dark-blue, etc.

To Dye Gloves.

Take the color suitable for the occasion; if dark take Spanish brown and black earth; if lighter, yellow and whiting, and so on with other colors. Mix them with a moderate fire, daub the gloves over with the color wet, and let them hang till they are dry; then beat out the superfluity of the color, and smoothe them over with a stretching or sleeking stick, reducing them to their proper shape.

To Dye White Gloves Purple.

Boil 4 oz. of logwood and 2 oz. of roche-alum in 8 pts. of soft water till half wasted; let the liquor stand to cool after straining. Let the gloves be nicely mended; then, with a brush, rub them over, and when dry repeat. Twice is sufficient, unless the color is to be very dark. When dry, rub off the loose dye with a coarse cloth. Beat up the white of an egg, and with a sponge rub it over the leather. The dye will stain the hands; but wetting them with vinegar, before they are washed, will take it off.

To Dye Gloves resembling Limerick.

Brown or tan colors are readily imparted to leather gloves by the following simple process. Steep saffron in boiling soft water for about 12 hours, then, having slightly sewed up the tops of the gloves, to prevent the dye staining the insides, wet them over with a sponge or soft brush dipped into the liquid. The quantity of saffron as well as of water will of course depend on how much dye may be wanted, and their relative proportions on the depth of color required. A common teacup will contain sufficient in quantity for a single pair of gloves.

To Stain Bone or Ivory.

They may be stained with the ordinary dyeing materials. The body should first be steeped in the mordant, and then in a hot bath of coloring material. Bichloride of tin as a mordant will give red with Brazil-wood or cochineal, yellow with fustic, violet with logwood. Black is given by nitrate of silver, gilding by immersion in a fresh solution of copperas, and afterwards of chloride of gold; bleaching by a solution of sulphurous acid.

To Prepare Wood for Dyeing.

The wood mostly used to dye black is pear-tree, holly, and beech, all of which take a beautiful black color. Do not use wood that has been long out, or aged, but let it be as fresh as possible. After the veneers have had 1 hour's boiling, and been taken out to cool, the color is always much stronger. When dyed, they should be dried in the air, and not by the fire, nor in a kiln of any kind, as artificial heat tends to destroy the color.

In order to dye blue, green, red or other colors take clear holly. Put the veneers into a box or trough, with clear water, and let them remain 4 or 5 days, changing the water once or twice as occasion may require. The water will clear the wood of slime, etc. Let them dry about 12 hours before they are put into the dye; by observing this the color will strike quicker, and be of a brighter hue.

To Stain Oak a Mahogany Color.

Boil together Brazil-wood and alum, and before it is applied to the wood a little potash is to be added to it. A suitable varnish for wood, thus tinged, may be made by dissolving amber in oil of turpentine, mixed with a small portion of linseed oil.

Ebony-black. - Steep the wood for 2 or 3 days in lukewarm water, in which a little alum has been dissolved; then put a handful of logwood, cut small, into a pint of water, and boil it down to less than 1/2 a pint. If a little indigo is added, the color will be more beautiful. Spread a layer of this liquor quite hot on the wood with a pencil, which will give it a violet color. When it is dry, spread on another layer; dry it again, and give it a third, then boil verdigris at discretion in its own vinegar, and spread a layer of it on the wood; when it is dry rub it with a brush, and then with oiled chamois skin. This gives a fine black, and imitates perfectly the color of ebony.

Another Method.

After forming the wood into the destined figure, rub it with aquafortis a little diluted. Small threads of wood will rise in the drying, which are to be rubbed off with pumice-stone. Repeat this prooess again, and then rub the wood with the following composition: - Put into a glazed earthen vessel 1 pint of strong vinegar, 2 oz. of fine iron filings, and 1/2 lb. of pounded galls, and allow them to infuse for 3 or 4 hours on hot cinders. At the end of this time augment the fire, and pour into the vessel 4 oz. of copperas (sulphate of iron), and a chopin of water having 1/2 oz. of borax and as much indigo dissolved in it, and make the whole boil till a froth rises. Rub several layers of this upon the wood; and, when it is dry, polish it with leather on which a little tripoli has been put.

Another. - Pour 2 qts. of boiling water over 1 oz. commercial extract of logwood, and when it is dissolved add 1 dr. of yellow chromate of potash, and stir well. This stain is cheap, keeps well, can be applied cold with a brush without any preparation.

To Stain Beech-wood a Mahogany Color.

Break 2 oz. of dragon's blood in pieces, and put them into a qt. of rectified spirit of wine, let the bottle stand in a warm place, and shake it frequently. When dissolved it is fit for use.

Another Method.

Boil 1 lb. of logwood in 4 qts. of water, and add a double handful of walnut-peeling. Boil it up again, take out the chips, add a pint of the best vinegar, and it will be fit for use.

To Stain Musical Instruments.

Crimson. - Boil 1 lb. of ground Brazil-wood in 3 qts. of water for an hour; strain it, and add 1/2 an oz. of cochineal; boil it again for 1/2 an hour gently, and it will be fit for use.

Purple. - Boil 1 lb. of chip logwood in 3 qts. of water for an hour; then add 4 oz. of pearlash and 2 oz. of indigo pounded

To Stain Box-wood Brown.

Hold the work to the fire, that it may receive a gentle warmth; then take aquafortis, and with a feather pass it over the work till it changes to a fine brown. Then oil and polish it.

To Dye Wood a Silver Gray.

Let not the veneers be too dry; when put into the copper pour hot iron liquor (acetate of iron) over them and add 1 lb. of chip logwood with 2 oz. of bruised nut-galls. Then boil up another pot of iron liquor to supply the copper, keeping the veneers covered and boiling 2 hours a day, until thoroughly penetrated.

Bright yellow. - A very small bit of aloes put into the varnish will make the wood of a good yellow color.

Another Method.

Reduce 4 lbs. of the roots of barberry, by sawing, into dust, which put in a copper or brass pan; add 4 oz. of turmeric, to which put 4 galls. of water, then put in as many holly veneers as the liquor will cover, boil them together for 3 hours after turning them. When cool add 2 oz. of aquafortis, and the dye will strike through much sooner.

Bright green. - Proceed as before to produce a yellow; but instead of aquafortis add as much of the vitriolated indigo as will produce the desired color.

Another Method.

To 3 pts. of the strongest vinegar add 4 oz. of the best verdigris, ground fine, 1/2 oz. of sap-green and 1/2 oz. of indigo. Proceed in straining as before.

Bright red. - To 2 lbs. of genuine Brazil-dust add 4 galls. of water, put in as many veneers as the liquor will well cover, boil them for 3 hours, and let them cool; then add 2 oz. each of alum and aquafortis, and keep it lukewarm until it has struck through.

Purple. - To 2 lbs. of chip logwood and 1/2 lb. of Brazil-dust add 4 galls. of water. Put in the veneers, and boil them well; then add 6 oz. of pearlash and 2 oz. of alum; let them boil 2 or 3 hours every day, till the color has struck through.

Fine blue. - Into 1 lb. of oil of vitriol in a glass bottle put 4 oz. of indigo, and proceed as before directed.

To Stain Paper or Parchment.

Yellow. - Paper may be stained a beautiful yellow by the tincture of turmeric formed by infusing an oz. or more of the root, powdered, in a pint of spirit of wine. This may be made to give any tint of yellow, from the lightest straw to the full color, called French yellow, and will be equal in brightness even to the best dyed silks. If yellow be wanted of a warmer or redder east, anatto or dragon's blood must be added. The best manner of using these, and the following tinctures, is to spread them even on the paper or parchment, by means of a broad brush, in the manner of varnish.

Crimson. - A very fine crimson stain may be given to paper by a tincture of the Indian lake, which may be made by infusing the lake some days in spirit of wine, and then pouring off the tincture from the dregs. It may be stained red by red ink. It may also be stained of a scarlet hue by the tincture of dragon's blood in spirit of wine, but this will not be bright

Green. - Paper or parchment may be stained green by the solution of verdigris in vinegar, or by the crystals of verdigris dissolved in water.

Orange. - Stain the paper or parchment first of a full yellow by means of the tincture of turmeric, then brush it over with a solution of fixed alkaline salt, made by dissolving 1/2 an oz. of pearlash, or salt of tartar, in a quart of water, and filtering the solution.

Purple. - Paper or parchment may be stained purple by archil, or by the tincture of logwood. The juice of ripe privet-berries expressed will likewise give a purple dye.

The coal-tar colors are especially adapted to coloring paper.

To Marble the Edges of Books or Paper.

Dissolve 4 oz. of gum arabic in 2 qts. of clear water, then provide several colors mixed with water in pots or shells, and with pencils peculiar to each color, sprinkle them by way of intermixture upon the gum-water, which must be cut into a trough, or some broad vessel, then with a stick curl them or draw them out in streaks to as much variety as required. Having done this, hold the book or books close together, and only dip the edges in on the top of the water and colors very lightly; which done, take them off, and the plain impression of the colors in mixture will be upon the leaves; doing as well the end as the front of the books in the same manner.

To Marble the Covers of Books.

This is performed by forming clouds with aquafortis, or oil of vitriol, mixed with ink, and afterwards glazing the covers.

To Color Vellum Green.

Take 1/2 pt. of the best white wine vinegar, 1 oz. of verdigris, and 1 1/2 oz. of sap-green; dissolve them in the vinegar for a few days, having been heated by the fire. Shake the bottle frequently before it is used.

Wash the vellum over with weak potash water, and when dry color it with the green 3 or 4 times, till it has a good color; when dry wash it over with thin paste water to give the vellum a gloss.

To Black the Edges of Paper.

Mix black lead with ink, and when the paper is cut, color it thinly over with black ink, with a piece of fine cloth; rub on the black lead, covering every part; take the dog's-tooth and burnish the edge till it becomes well polished.

When the edge of the paper, after cutting, appears rather rough, scrape it over with a piece of glass or an iron scraper with a flat edge.

To Sprinkle the Edges of Books etc.

The brushes used for book-edges must be made of Russia hogs' bristles, of good thickness, tied round with cord, glued at the thick end, and half covered with a piece of leather; when dry tie the brush again with waxed cord, within half an inch of the soft part of it, and cut it very smooth and even. Brushes made after this manner are preferable to those with a handle.

Prepare the color in a cup; dip in the brush till it is charged, and then press it out till it will drop no longer. The book must be screwed tight in the cutting press; hold the brush in the left hand, and, with a folding-stick in the right, rub it over the brush, which will cause the color to sprinkle finely on the edges. The brush must be moved up and down over the edge, as you sprinkle to have it regular on every part. After the sprinkling is done, the brushes should be carefully washed in water, particularly after sprinkling blue, which will otherwise soon destroy the brush.

To Dye or Stain Horn Tortoise-shell Color.

The horn to be dyed must be first pressed into proper plates, scales, or other flat form, and the following mixture prepared: Take of quicklime two parts, and litharge one part, temper them together to the consistence of a soft paste, with soap lye. Put this paste over all the parts of the horn except such as are proper to be left transparent, in order to give it a near resemblance to the tortoise-shell. The horn must remain in this manner covered with the paste till it is thoroughly dry when, the paste being brushed off, the horn will be found partly opaque and partly transparent, in the manner of tortoise-shell, and when put over a foil of the kind of lattern called orsedue, will be scarcely distinguishable from it. It requires some degree of fancy and judgment to disperse of the paste in such a manner as to form a variety of transparent parts, of different magnitudes and figures, to look like the effect of nature, and it will be an improvement to add semi-transparent parts, which may be done by mixing whiting with some of the paste, to weaken its operation in particular places, by which spots of a reddishbrown will be produced, which, if properly interspersed, especially on the edges of the dark parts, will greatly increase the beauty of the work, and its similitude to real tortoise-shell.

Another Method.

Take an equal quantity of quicklime and red lead, and mix it up with strong soap lees. Lay it on the horn with a small brush, like the mottle in tortoise-shell. When dry repeat the same two or three times.

To Dye Horns of different Colors.

Black is performed by steeping brass in aquafortis till it is turned green; with this the horn is to be washed once or twice, and then put into a warmed decoction of logwood and water.

Green is begun by boiling it, etc., in alum-water, then with verdigris, ammoniac, and white wine vinegar, keeping it hot therein till sufficiently green.

Red is begun by boiling it in alum-water, then with verdigris, ammoniac, and finished by decoction in a liquor compounded of quicklime steeped in rain-water, strained, and to every pint an ounce of Brazil-wood added. In this decoction the horns are to be boiled till sufficiently red.

Horns receive a deep black stain from solution of nitrate of silver. It ought to be diluted to such a degree as not sensibly to corrode the substance, and applied 2 or 3 times if necessary, at considerable intervals, the matter being exposed as much as possible to the sun, to hasten the appearance and deepening of the color.