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Old October 27th, 2018, 01:01 AM   #1
James Blanchard
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 20
Default Saxon blue / indigo carmine dye

Hi all,

Some time back I picked up a lovely large Persian carpet. It has a range of blues including a light blue, and a lot of green.

Recently there was a water spill and it was wet for some time, and we noticed that there was some bleeding of the green.

I have done a bit of reading and it seems that the culprit is likely the so-called "Saxon blue", or indigo carmine. A Turkotek Salon on dyes by Pierre Galafassi (Salon 129: http://www.turkotek.com/salon_00129/salon.html) indicated that greens Saxon blue was not light fast and tended to bleed, as did greens made from the dye. Other reading indicated that it was not uncommon in Persian and Turkish rugs from about 1850 until 1910, such that it was one indicator of approximate age.

Here is a link to a more detailed scientific analysis of the indigo carmine dye, supporting Pierre's assessment. https://www.researchgate.net/publica...matic_blue_dye

My practical question is whether anyone has any thoughts about how to avoid dye bleed, and perhaps any suggestions about how best to clean up any spills, should they occur. It would seem to make sense to use acidic solution (like vinegar / water) if cleaning is required, since alkali solutions are known to loosen the dye from the wool.

Picture of a section of the rug is below (I don't have a picture of the dye run). Interestingly, there hasn't been that much dye fading, which one might have expected.

Any experience or information would be welcome.


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