Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Armley Mills Dyeing Project - Dyeing begins!

A great day yesterday at Armley Mills producing the first samples from the Gott recipe book. We tried 3 different recipes and although we had to do a bit of tweaking of the recipes (distilling sulphuric acid and nitric acid weren't really in the spirit of the session!) we got some great results.

Scaling down the quantities was a challenge - the recipes have little information about the quantity of goods dyed by each recipe so I did some scaling down based more on using small amounts of ingredients and seeing what we could dye! I did calculate the right ratio of ingredients if not an accurate wof:wog (weight of fibre: weight of goods). As a result the colours were certainly in the right ballpark albeit pretty intense and there was plenty left in the baths. I'm sure this wouldn't have been the way dyehouses would have operated as it would have been very wasteful. This leads to questions about whether dyebaths were expected to exhaust after each bath, whether a vat would be used for each shade/range of shades and topped up? If there's a dyehouse dyer in your family history, maybe you could get in touch and let me know?

So, a great start with more excitement to come hopefully!

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