Quick question re : fuchsin
I have been trying to find information about fuchsin, but there is very little in the books I have. I ran a search on Google (only two listings in Turkotek) and could not get the exact answers I am looking for.
I would like to know the following;
Does fuchsin fade from a mauve/violet/purple to an ugly grey colour?
Are there any other synthetic dyes that fade to grey?
Assuming fuchsin hit the market C1858, when would it most likely have stopped being used? I have read that one can date pieces to pre-1900 based on the evidence of fuchsin.
Would the evidence of fuchsin indicate a village or settled weaving rather than a nomadic weaving?
Looking forward to any information.
First, not all fugitive violet dyes are fuchsine, although it is more or less common for ruggies to refer to them all by that name.
1. Does fuchsin fade from a mauve/violet/purple to an ugly grey colour? Fuchsine does fade from a violet, eventually to a pale grey.
2. Are there any other synthetic dyes that fade to grey? Many synthetics fade, and if they fade enough, they become pale gray.
3. Assuming fuchsin hit the market C1858, when would it most likely have stopped being used? I have read that one can date pieces to pre-1900 based on the evidence of fuchsin. Fuchsine didn't exactly hit the market in 1858, the first report of it being synthesized in a laboratory appeared in that year. I did an informal survey of dyes in dated Caucasian rugs awhile ago, and my recollection is that fugitive violets were very common in rugs dated 1875-1920, uncommon in later weavings.
4. Would the evidence of fuchsin indicate a village or settled weaving rather than a nomadic weaving? It's certainly more common in village rugs than in tribal utilitarian weavings or trappings. But unless you're dealing with a small fragment it shouldn't be hard to tell whether a textile is from a village or is the product of a tribal nomad, regardless of whether it has a fugitive violet or not.
For what it's worth, I have a Kurdish baddanni or filikli that contains fugitive violets. It is most likely an nomadic product.
Here are a couple images from Rick's discussion thread on Dyes and Ethnographic Value
(link: http://www.turkotek.com/misc_00004/discussion.htm ) showing a salt bag with
fugitive purple faded to grey, which may well be fuchsine. I think it's a nomadic weaving.
As you can see, there are a few spots where the purple is still largely
intact, but not many:
The lighter brown (esp. in the center of the lower medallion) is actually a medium
orange way down at the base of the yarn, and inside the bag. Lousy dyes all around.
And this is a nice read.
As an extra:
Think we have to realize that a corrosive dye isn't proof for a natural basis. It was known that in developing a dyed wool with Iron, it became darker like yellow becomes green.
The developing of chemical dyed wool, could have been the same procedure. leading to a corrosive chemical dyed wool.
This has nothing to do with your question, but after reading the article, this whirled in my brain.
I think Mushak's article (to which you provide a link) is probably the best general treatment of the role of dyes in Rugdom's pursuit of perfect attributions.
It also includes excellent insights into the nature of scholarship and the importance of criticism and access to external information in its practice. That subject has generated some debate in another thead.
I was reading recently in Cecil Edwards' book where he was recounting a conversation with master dyer. (Sorry forgot which area and the book is back at the library)
Anyway the dyer was talking about the practice of missing out a second process which would ensure a good natural dye job. The dye in question was madder
He mentioned many weavers opted to for go the second bath at a lower cost and that the yarn thus dyed would fade. (but not necessarily run???)
My question. Do some poorly dyed natural colours, especially when regularly out in the sun, as with nomadic people, fade, and can you tell the difference?
I have a baluch rug with very faded reds but a relatively good purple. Did the baluch have a problem with their reds? I have always assumed the reds were synthetic..
Also I would like to see a few more pictures of the earlier chemical dyes. We normally see good coloured rugs :-) I'd like to see more like Chuck's post, just so I know what to look for. For example what did the different 'fushines' look like. What about oranges and greens.
Any dye will fade if exposed to strong light for a long enough time. As a rule, the natural dyes used in rugs (except for some of the yellows) fade much more slowly than most of the synthetics that were used with rugs. The synthetics used until, perhaps, 1950, were especially unstable, and pieces made between the two World Wars often have tip-fading in almost every color.
Think the dye master, if he was a dye master, could have told that the madder bath cold be used a second time, and maybe a third time. But the result will be like a faded madder. If the fixing-bath is done properly every next time before using the madder bath again.
A well dyed wool is an addition sum of the exact amount of fixing component (alum with madder) and the exact weight of the wool and when this is done, the exact amount of madder and the exact temperature at 80 degrees for 1 hour. Madder is a dye that needs 80 degrees. Most, if not all, others need 90 degrees. If madder is dyed at a higher temperature it looks like a mud-bath and the colour gets muddy as well, so I was told by a chief dye mistress while dyeing my handspun wool in a yellow copper kettle.
Last but not least. The wool has to be rinsed with clean, soft water after it has been hanging out in the open air for one hour. A newly dyed wool is very sensative for large temperature differences
A well done, natural dye wont tip fade into no colour at all.
A second bath, natural dye starts out as looking faded along the total pile length.
Thank for that Vincent.
The reference in Edwards was referring to a second part of a process I'm sure. Not a second usage of the bath.. (sorry poor terminology)
As you say, a well done dye won't tip fade. I think the inference was these dyes were not being well done
Both you and Steve used the term tip-fading ( before you feel you have to explain in small words, I know what you mean!)
From that do I infer where a colour has faded radicallly from the back but doesn't have the extreme light tips is may be have natural dyes but just lain outside in front of the door for too long? Or can't we know for sure.
The tips of the pile are exposed directly to light; the deeper part of the pile isn't. For that reason, tips fade much more rapidly than the rest of the pile, especially if the pile is pretty long and densely knotted (so that the pile tends to stand up straight).
As far as I know, there's no such thing as an organic dye that is completely insensitive to light. The dyes used in rugs from about 1900 to about 1940 were extremely light-sensitive. It's kind of fun with them to push back the pile here and there with the fingers and see how darker and more vivid the deep pile is than the surface.
Some points about Vincent's post: He's probably using the centigrade temperature scale, not the Fahrenheit scale that us oddball Americans use. 100 degrees C = 212 degrees F. To get an approximation of the conversion in everyday terms, body temperature (around 99 F) is 37 C. Centigrade temperature of 50 is uncomfortable to the touch, but not painful; 60 is too hot to hold in the hand.
That confirms it. Now I KNOW you don't read my posts.
It was 52 C inside my car last week. Too hot to sit on!
Still really love to see those photos of early chemical dyes
Originally posted by Johanna Raynor
That confirms it. Now I KNOW you don't read my posts.
Thanks for that info about tip fading. It is really useful.
Originally posted by Johanna Raynor
On the subject of "backward countries" and their measuring scales, don't get us "non-Americans" started. Fahrenheit is only marginally less obscure to us than your imperial-derived measuring scales. One of the very few benifits of globalisation is the likelihood that it will encourage the spread of the metric system accross the pond.
Did you read the message?
There is NO second part in the process.
The dye process is the dye process.
It's fixing, dyeing and sometimes, if a darker shade is needed developing.
So I think Edwards never dyed wool and used hearsay as basis.
This is my precious.
Mostly, if not all toxic.
95% of blue has changed into gray.
Maybe this helps.
All natural colours 1
All natural colours 2
All handspun wool.
So now we know what the natural colours look like on screen?
PS The toxic precious is dated 1327 H.
Interesting. My un-precious is dated 1320 H (1902 AD).
Only 1 cm of blue in the upper part of the field is good, the rest is faded (it’s also very dirty). The blue in other parts of the rug is good.
But this cannot be fuchsine. Fuchsine is related to mauve or violet red. How did they manage to miss the blue? Bad indigo job or there vas also a fugitive synthetic blue around at that time?
I have always assumed that ALL blues come from indigo, which of course is natural. In fact, I have been told blue cannot be synthetic.
As we are discussing 'odd' dyes, I would love to hear more about INDIGO SULPHONIC or SULPHONIC INDIGO, whichever you prefer.
I have seen a few pieces that have been described as having this dye. I am not exactly sure what it is, or how it reacts.
Yes, I always assumed the same – at least for rugs of around a century of age.
So these two could be examples of bad natural dyeing. As for the indigo sulphonic, we had something on it some time ago. I’ll dig a little.
According to Joyce C. Ware, the first fugitive dyes used roughly between
1875-1900 included mauve, two magentas, blue, green and purple.
So Vincent’s and mine sad blue could be one of those.
But generally blue was made with indigo. Synthetic indigo is chemically identical to the natural one (but without those nice impurities) and was introduced on the market by German BASF in 1897.
Indigo sulphonic is an acid made from the combination of indigo and sulphuric acid.
It seems it was used as early as the sixteenth century (Hull and Luczy-Wyhowska)
It should produce a light turquoise like the one on this Zakatala rug:
Or a tip faded olive green like this rug of mine (Michael Bischof defined it as a “most likely Indigosulfonic, but a not very good example”).
This is what I found on the net
# The principal commercial use of 2-methylaniline is in the manufacture of dyes, rubber vulcanization accelerators, hypnotic and anesthetic pharmaceuticals, and the pesticide siduron. (1,2)
It's very toxic.
2-methylaniline changes a fuchsine red into a blue/green?
I've been looking into biochemistry.
Old paper colouring technics.
What did we do before we had Google?
Hallo Richard and all,
this shows a selection of early synthetic dyes including Fuchsine on a ca. 1900 nomadic or semi-nomadic Kurdish Herki Sumac.
This rug seems to have been kept from light for most of its time and shows those dyes pretty much like what they must have looked liked hundred years ago. Some of these colours seem to have neon like quality and must have show up quite nicely in some dimly lit up dwelling. It reminds me of firework, great fun for a short while until it is all over.
I partied and partied and partied
Life was less complicated.
So I don't know for sure, if what I found on the net, makes any sense.
So maybe anyone can help me out.
Ph-paper or litmus? paper testing paper that changes in colour when put in a different acid environment.
Particularly with methylaniline-purple coloured paper, which becomes blue/green in
inorganic acids and discolours in organic acids.
Think the same goes for wool.
How many colours in rugs are 100% natural? I think none.
ps. Filiberto found:"Indigo sulphonic is an acid made from the combination of indigo and sulphuric acid"
Why messing with indigo? Doesn't make sense.
"Indigo sulphonic is an acid made from the combination of indigo and sulphuric acid"
So the indigo distribution is better.
A more equally coloured surface.
ps. I use: ixquick.com
Very interesting. This is the first time I see early synthetic dyes in almost original appearance.
Not to doubt what you say, but could you please be more specific about the rug you show? I mean, how are you so sure about its age, where you got it, have you by any chance chemically tested the colors and so on…
I bought this rug at an auction a couple of years ago where it was described somewhat vaguely as ca. 1900 Azerbaijan.
As synthetic dyes have also taken over field and ground-weave (dark mauve/aubergine) I believe it to be 1900-1910 rather than 1890 or earlier. Some fading has occurred. The back is brighter still. It can’t have been on the floor for very long as the braided end finishes are more or less intact. This is where those otherwise hard wearing sumacs usually suffer first.
That it is a Herki or from a closely related tribe is certain. I paid several journeys to that area between 1977 and 1984. In 1980 I purchased three Herki sumacs in Van, one from a friend and two from Mustafa Cantürk, who was the principal rug merchant in the Van-Hakkari region in the seventies and eighties. 1980 was the first year Herki flat-weaves emerged on the marked. The years before they were unknown. Responsible for this were Turkish army operations in northern Iraq in pursuit of PKK fighters. This and on the Iranian side of the border, west of lake Urmia, is were the Herki traditionally settle and in earlier times, seasonally migrated. Accordingly, two of those rugs were traded in by a Turkish Army Officer, the other one by a peasant who had his house shelled. The latter rug is very similar to the one from which the pictures were taken, only finer in its weave and the synthetic dyes applied much more sparingly, also fewer colours. This is why I consider that rug to be from ca. 1880. The others are solely in natural dyes, one from ca. 1850, and the other one early 19th century.
As you can see, attribution and age estimate are based on several sources of information and comparison. I could go on about this.
I have not tested any of the dyes although I would love to do so. This has to wait for at least another ten years until I retire. I was in writing with Harald Böhmer these days (Kökboya; Rugs of the Peasants and Nomads in Anatolia) and send him the same pictures. He replied, the red looked like fuchsine to him, about the others he could not judge without chemical analysis.
Any chance of us seeing a picture of this entire Sumac?
here is the whole rug.
It does not come out so well, perhaps it is do dark to fit into 100-200 KB without much loss of resolution. The smaller images look much nicer to me.
Just to let everyone know, an image has been added to Horst's last post.
as edited by you the image has turned out considerably better than my own result. It looks as if I haven’t found the right button yet in my programme. Thanks,
All I did was crop off some of the floor that surrounded it and reduce the size a little.
Thanks for the image -Dave
I spent a little time playing with your image and tried to match it to the close-ups that you showed us. If it is a bad guess let me know and I'll pull it out of the thread:
You may be interested in the article “IDENTIFICATION OF DYES ON OLD TEXTILES” , from the “Journal of the American Institute for Conservation”:
thank you for the alternative image of the rug. I got myself brand new Ulead PhotoImpact 6 software, which apparently was state of the art only four years ago for next to nothing at eBay, and am presently worming my way into it. So far I know how to clip off bits and pieces and how to reduce pixels etc. but have not conquered resizing yet. The archive functions seem very useful to get better order into the hotchpotch of images on my computer.
this is a very interesting article and I wished there was something along the same line on the early sythetic dyes.
There is something on early synthetic dyes:
2 PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION
A SMALL SAMPLE of the colored fabric is first boiled in a 1% ammonia solution, in order to remove soil and finishes. Most natural dyes do not run when subjected to this treatment, since they are usually mordant dyes, that is to say they are present in the fabric as insoluble lakes. Indigo is also fast to dilute ammonia. Most of the earlier synthetic dyes made prior to the end of the 19th century run considerably. The same observation is made by textile restorers when they wash carpets with anionic surfactants in ammoniacal solution: if they see that no dye runs they draw conclusions about the presence of natural or synthetic dyes.
That’s an easy test. Unfortunately it works for “MOST of the earlier synthetic dyes”, not ALL. It is also not clear how small should be the “small sample”. And the black & white pictures in the article are useless, by the way. But, overall, it’s a useful article.
There is another one you can find interesting, it’s GENERAL EFFECTS OF AGEING ON TEXTILES:
The index page of JAIC online contains hundreds of articles:
Some of them with very odd subjects.
Check out #177, for example, if you start collecting spacesuits. Or #150 and #241…
Number 152, “Eradication of insects from wool textiles” is worth visiting too.
thank you for this interesting link that makes a good reference for a wealth of topics.