Monday, 4 May 2009

Brasil and its wonders.

The batch of 'rose colour' is now drying in a ceramic dish as is the weld yellow. The rose colour is more like a purple pink.

With the excess brasil bath I dyed some silk, I added a little weld to boost the red a bit, let it steep in hot water for a while and overnight in the pot, the result is a vibrant red, it is now drying on the line.

As I don't like wasting anything, the silk will be used as a basis for gilded badges and devices.

Brasil dyed feathers:
There are medieval sources for dyeing feathers, I tried this last year, with the ubiquitous brasil and the reds were fine and visible but what was surprising was that the feathers whilst faded considerably in my she window have retained a fair amount of the colour. I will aim to reproduce this in the summer, conducting a control test by having some wrapped and hidden, the other half exposed to sunlight, pics will be posted.

Why dye feathers? 
Plumes for helmets and crests, presumably for other decorative use - possibly food subtleties
A fragment of text in the Cennini treatise mentions dyed quills for quilling, but nothing more than that tantalising snippet.

I will also try other colours, but not being a dyer will most likely rely on:
reds, yellow and black. I don't have the kit for woad etc.

I have just realised that the 16thc Booke of Secrets -  also mentions quill dyeing, interestingly only the three colours listed above, see here.

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