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Vintage Threads: Continuing Colors

A deep, almost crimson shade of red
Madder Red

Likely introduced to Egypt by the Greeks or Romans, madder was used throughout antiquity for coloring textiles and as a pigment. This red is more of a “rusty” color. It can be various shades of red ranging from red brown to cinnamon orange.

A rectangle with an array of different blue shades, from light on the left to dark on the right
Indigo Blue

INDIGO BLUE - Organic Indigo is a powder from the leaves of the indigo plant called Indigofera tinctoria. It is one of the oldest dyes known to humankind. Indigo can dye all natural fibers. It gives beautiful shades of blue — from the palest summer sky to an almost purple black. The color achieved depends on the type of vat, the concentration of indigo, and the number of dips. Indigotin (the dye component of indigo powder) is insoluble in water.

A square, chrome yellow in color
Chrome Yellow

CHROME YELLOW - Chrome yellow is a yellow pigment made by adding a soluble lead salt (nitrate or acetate) to a solution of alkali chromate or dichromate. It is lemon-colored, an intense yellow with a slight greenish cast. It became quite popular with quilters about 1840, when the colors of German folkloric arts were adopted for quilts.

A wavy spectrum of lighter purples on top of a dark, deep purple background

PURPLE - When was the color purple invented? Eighteen-year- old student William Henry Perkin created purple in March 1856 during a failed chemistry experiment to produce quinine, a substance used to treat malaria. Perkin instead invented the first synthetic dye. He originally called it “Tyrian purple,” but then settled on the French word “mauve.”

This week’s material comes from Barbara

Brackman’s Clues in the Calico and the internet!!

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