Dying to make a sash

According to Dominique Cardon, a common recipe for red in the 1700s was to dye first with madder, and then overdye with cochineal. Cochineal gives a luscious color but was quite expensive. Using this recipe, very little cochineal is needed. I used this recipe to dye the silk for the sash, hoping for a color that is very close to the original.

The madder red

The madder red


Madder is quite sensitive to temperature. Too hot and the color shifts to an orange brown. I kept a thermometer in the pot to keep tabs on the temperature.
subsequent dye baths

Getting close


The skein looks dark here, but the color is always more intense when wet and in the pot. I had several little sample pieces that I could take out and quickly dry to check the color.
Now I wait for the skein to dry. Tomorrow I’ll set the warp on my frame.

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