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Old September 10th, 2017, 05:29 PM   #11
Pierre Galafassi
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 88

Hi Rich,

*… Another point of interest is the design color of the central field against the yellow background. I call it stone green, and I have not found it in any other rug. The places featuring the color are uniformly lower than the surrounding yellow. I have surmised that the dye was corrosive, resulting in that effect; but I imagine the pile in those areas could have been clipped shorter intentionally….

I agree with your hypothesis. It seems, to me too, much more likely that the clipping was intentional. Not only because the weaver was obviously a serial clipper.

I believe that greens were nearly always obtained by successive dyeing with indigo (vat-dyeing) and with one of the many natural yellows available, mostly applied by *alum-mordant dyeing. Some natural yellow dyes could be applied by so-called*direct dyeing (without mordanting of the wool). However the latter dyes often led to borderline wet- and/or light-fastnesses.

Neither Indigo vat dyeing, nor direct dyeing with natural yellows, nor the usual mordant dyeing (with alum) with natural yellows will cause any wool degradation over time.

For the sake of completeness, I only mention here that applying some natural yellows on wool mordanted with a very low concentration of copper salts, leads to a greener shade of yellow (not to a proper green mind you) than when alum mordant is used, and that this copper mordanting has the potential for triggering a fibre degradation.
But the risk is very limited because
a) only very low copper concentrations will obtain that greenish yellow shade and
b) I have no proof that this quite acrobatic method was ever used in real life.

Best regards
Pierre Galafassi is online now   Reply With Quote

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