Sunday, August 19, 2007

Colors in the Regency Part I

More color became available during the period 1704 to 1856, chemical compounds Prussian blue and mauveine were discovered .

Gowns such as those shown here may well have been died with cochineal.


Dyes were extracted from such living organisms =as cochineal and and plants such as madder and brazilwood.

By the late Middle Ages, imported cochineal began to take precedence as the most sought after dye. Combined with a tin salt, cochineal produced a spectacular red on wool and silk, luxury fabrics, by the early fifteen century it was very expensive and thus was reserved for the wealthy it even replaced the clothes of the traditionally blue-clad Virgin in Renaissance paintings.

Until 1704, blue dyes were primarily extracted from woad and indigo plants. Woad grew in Europe and Indigo in the southern part of North America, in Mexico and in Central America.


A Berlin color-maker named Diesbach accidentally stumbled upon Prussian blue while trying to make red for painters.

It became fashionable throughout Europe and was used from at least 1723 as a dye for silk and cotton as well for house paint within the United States.

1805 Walking Dress

Bonnet of Blue Velvet, with White Ostrich Feather. Spencer of Blue Velvet, trimmed with Swansdown. Round Dress of Cambric Muslin, with a Lace Flounce. Boots Blue. Buff Gloves; and Swansdown Muff.

Next time we will take a look at yellow. Until then, Happy Rambles.