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Dyeing or Coloring Woolen Goods

Chrome Black — Best in Use

For five pounds of goods, blue vitriol six ounces; boil a few minutes, then dip the goods three-fourths of an hour, airing often; take out the goods, make a dye with three pounds of log-wood, boil one-half hour; dip three-fourths of an hour, air goods, and dip three-fourths of an hour more. Wash in strong suds. This will not fade by exposure to sun.

Wine Color

For five pounds of goods, camwood two pounds; boil fifteen minutes and dip the goods one-half hour; boil again and dip one-half hour then darken with blue vitriol one and one-half ounces; if not dark enough, add copperas one-half ounce.

Scarlet — Very Fine

For one pound of goods, cream of tartar one-half ounce, cochineal, well pulverized, one half ounce, muriate of tin two and one-half ounces; boil up the dye and enter the goods; work them briskly for ten or fifteen minutes, then boil one and one-half hours, stirring goods slowly while boiling. Wash in clear water and dry in the shade.


For three pounds of goods, alum three ounces; boil and dip the goods one hour, then add to the dye, cream of tartar four ounces, cochineal, well pulverized, one ounce; boil well and dip the goods while boiling until the color suits.

Blue — Quick Process

For two pounds of goods, alum five ounces, cream of tartar three ounces; boil goods in this one hour, then put them into warm water which has more or less extract of indigo in it, according to the depth of color desired, and boil again until it suits, adding more of the blue if needed.

Madder Red

To each pound of goods, alum five ounces, red or cream of tartar one ounce. Put in the goods and bring the kettle to a boil for one-half hour; then air them and boil one-half hour longer; empty the kettle and fill with clean water; put in bran one peck; make it milk-warm, and let it stand until the bran rises; then skim off the bran and put in one-half pound madder; put in the goods and heat slowly until it boils and is done. Wash in strong suds.


For each pound of goods, fustic one pound, with alum three and one-half ounces; steep until strength is out, and soak the goods therein until a good yellow is obtained, then remove the chips, and add extract of indigo or chemic, one tablespoonful at a time, until color suits.

Snuff Brown, Dark

For five pounds of goods, camwood one pound; boil it fifteen minutes; then dip the goods three-fourths of an hour; take them out and add to the dye two and one-half pounds fustic; boil ten minutes, and dip the goods three-fourths of an hour; then add blue vitriol one ounce, copperas four ounces; dip again one-half hour. If not dark enough add more copperas.

Another Method — Any Shade

Boil the goods in a mordant of alum two parts, copperas three parts; then rinse them through a bath of madder. The tint depends on the relative proportions of the copperas and alum; the more copperas, the darker the dye; joint weight of both should not be more than one-eighth of weight of goods. Mixtures of reds and yellows with blues and blacks, or simple dyes, will make any shade.


For five pounds of goods, muriate of tin six tablespoonfuls, argol four ounces; boil and dip one hour and add again to the dye one teacupful of madder; dip again one-half hour. Cochineal, about two ounces, in place of madder, makes a much brighter color.


For each pound of goods, two ounces of cudbear; rinse the goods well in soap-suds, then dissolve cudbear in hot suds — not quite boiling, and soak the goods until of required color. The color is brightened by rinsing in alum water.

Yellow — Rich

Work five pounds of goods one-half hour in a boiling bath with three ounces bichromate of potassa and two ounces alum; lift and expose till well cooled and drained; then work one-half hour in another bath with five pounds of fustic. Wash out and dry.


Work for one hour in a bath with one pound cochineal paste, six ounces of dry cochineal, one pound of tartar, one pint of protochloride of tin. Wash out and dry.


For each pound of goods, one-fourth pound of annotto, one-fourth pound of soap; rinse the goods well in warm water, put them into mixture and boil one-half hour. Shade will be according to the amount of annotto.

Dove and Slate Colors of All Shades

Boil in an iron vessel a teacupful of black tea with a teaspoonful of copperas and sufficient water. Dilute till you get the shade wanted.


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The White House Cookbook (1887).

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