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Dyes in the Persian empire?
#1
Hello once more.

Can anyone point me to documentation about what kinds of dyes would be available in Central and Western Asia before the Hellenistic period?

I'm trying to choose some linen for more tunics that at least looks like it's the correct color, if not necessarily using natural dyes. I understand woad and walnuts are native to the area.  But I found this rust-red "sedona" very interesting, so I want to know if it's plausible, perhaps by overdyeing red with brown or vice-versa.
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#2
(08-16-2016, 02:10 PM)Dan D Wrote: Hello once more.

Can anyone point me to documentation about what kinds of dyes would be available in Central and Western Asia before the Hellenistic period?

I'm trying to choose some linen for more tunics that at least looks like it's the correct color, if not necessarily using natural dyes.  I understand woad and walnuts are native to the area.  But I found this rust-red "sedona" very interesting, so I want to know if it's plausible, perhaps by overdyeing red with brown or vice-versa.

I would have though looking at the vast amounts of Egyptian textiles would supply the answers you need for the region generally.... Madder was used so yes rust-red is in..
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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#3
(08-16-2016, 02:10 PM)Dan DSilva Wrote: Hello once more.

Can anyone point me to documentation about what kinds of dyes would be available in Central and Western Asia before the Hellenistic period?

I'm trying to choose some linen for more tunics that at least looks like it's the correct color, if not necessarily using natural dyes ...
For linen, "natural" and "sun-bleached white" are always the safest colours. Linen is not as easy to dye with natural dyes as wool, cotton, or silk but it does turn a nice white colour if it is left in the sun or washed enough times, so people often saved their dyestuffs for other fibres.

Walnuts are used today to dye wool for rugs in Iran Edit: See the Encyclopaedia Iranica article on Carpets ii. Raw Materials and Dye if you want to learn how carpet-makers dyed wool and silk in recent times.

If you want the details check books like "Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries" "Tutankhamun's Wardrobe" and Oleson's "Encyclopedia of Engineering and Technology." Some of the main sources outside of Egypt are cuneiform texts, the oldest Zanjan mummies, and the Pazyryk textiles.
Nullis in verba

I left this forum around the beginning of 2013, but I hope that these old posts have some value
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#4
(08-16-2016, 03:03 PM)Crispianus Wrote: I would have though looking at the vast amounts of Egyptian textiles would supply the answers you need for the region generally....

Thank you.  Where can I read about them?

(08-17-2016, 06:56 AM)Sean Manning Wrote: For linen, "natural" and "sun-bleached white" are always the safest colours.  Linen is not as easy to dye with natural dyes as wool, cotton, or silk but it does turn a nice white colour if it is left in the sun or washed enough times, so people often saved their dyestuffs for other fibres.

I understand, and I've seen a few dyeing experiments that prove what you're saying.  But I just find an all-"natural" linen ensemble painfully dull.  (I have to rely on linen for undertunics and hot-weather clothing because I'm pretty allergic to wool, need at least two layers between it and my skin.)

(08-17-2016, 06:56 AM)Sean Manning Wrote: If you want the details check books like "Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries" "Tutankhamun's Wardrobe" and Oleson's "Encyclopedia of Engineering and Technology."  Some of the main sources outside of Egypt are cuneiform texts, the oldest Zanjan mummies, and the Pazyryk textiles.

Okay.  Thanks!
Dan D'Silva

Far beyond the rising sun
I ride the winds of fate
Prepared to go where my heart belongs,
Back to the past again.

--  Gamma Ray

Well, I'm tough, rough, ready and I'm able
To pick myself up from under this table...

--  Thin Lizzy

Join the Horde! - http://xerxesmillion.blogspot.com/
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#5
Dan, three vol set on coptic textiles: http://www.romanarmytalk.com/rat/thread-...#pid319398

For an earlier example, though of course obviously these are old catalogues:

"The surprise came in 1903,
when the tomb of Thothmes IV. (c. 1466 B.c ) at Tliebes yielded
three fine specimens of linen weavings bearing indisputable evidences of early origin. All three were woven by the tapestry process illustrated so abundantly in the later fabrics from Egypt;
but while in the latter the tapestry-decoration is in wool or silk, in
these early stuffs it is of coloured linen threads."

You can find the details of the linen here though not the dyes:

https://archive.org/details/tombofthoutmsi02cart

My reference for the use of Madder came from "Egyptian Textiles" Rosalinda Hall, who mentions woad, madder, red ocherous earth, henna and "carthamus tinctorious" a plant producing a yellow dye, as well as purple and others... you may also try Academia Edu
Ivor

"And the four bare walls stand on the seashore. a wreck a skeleton a monument of that instability and vicissitude to which all things human are subject. Not a dwelling within sight, and the farm labourer, and curious traveller, are the only persons that ever visit the scene where once so many thousands were congregated." T.Lewin 1867
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