69 recipes for blue dyeing

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A collection of historical recipes for dyeing blue

For centuries people have experimented with plants for dyeing blue. In Europe, the dyeing substance indigo was extracted from the leaves of the woad plant (Isatis tinctoria), in Asia and America dyers worked with Indigofera or Polygonum. Dyes were expensive merchandise and the dyers were reluctant to share their experience and knowledge. Nevertheless dozens of dyers recipes from the past are known today. The German woad expert Hansjürgen Möllerott has dived into the international literature and succeeded in collecting 69 recipes from all continents and from different eras. We read what the Roman architect and scientist Vitruvius had to say about the subject, but also about the preparation of a woad vat in 15th century Florence, or blue dyeing in Japan or in Senegal. The book is written in German.

H.J. Müllerott (red.) 69 Rezepturen zur Bereitung der blauen Farbe oder zum Blaufärben aus 2 Jahrtausenden, Arnstadt (Thüringer Chronik-Verlag) 2017, 96 blz., A’5 format, stapled, full colour illustrations.