Days Gone By - stories from the past

FiF – (Fix-it-Friday): Imagine having to dye all your clothes like our ancestors did – Here are some of their recipes

We take colors in our clothes for granted today but our ancestors had to dye their clothes for colors.  Here are a few of their dye recipes for silk from an old 1880’s cookbook.


DYEING OR COLORING – GENERAL REMARKS

Everything should be clean. The goods should be scoured in soap and the soap rinsed out. They are often steeped in soap lye over night. Dip them into water before putting into preparations, to prevent spotting. Soft water should be used sufficient to cover the goods well; this is always understood where quantity is not mentioned. When goods are dyed, air them; then rinse well, and hang up to dry. Do not wring silk or merino dresses when scouring or dyeing them. If cotton goods are to be dyed a light color, they should first be bleached.

washing clothes3

SILKS

BLACK – Make a weak lye as for black or woolens; work goods in bichromate of potash a little below boiling heat, then dip in the logwood in the same way; if colored in blue vitriol dye, use about the same heat.

ORANGE – For one pound goods, annotto one pound, soda one pound; repeat as desired.

GREEN -VERY HANDSOME -For one pound goods, yellow oak bark eight ounces; boil one-half hour; turn off the liquor from bark and add alum six ounces; let it stand until cold; while making this, color goods in blue dye-tub a light blue, dry and wash, dip in alum and bark dye. It it does not take well, warm the dye a little.

LIGHT BLUE – For cold water one gallon, dissolve alum one-half tablespoonful, in hot water one teacupful, and add to it; then add chemic, one teaspoonful at a time to obtain the desired color – the more chemic the darker the color.

PURPLE-For one pound goods. First obtain a light blue, by dipping in home-made dye-tub; then dry; dip in alum four ounces, with water to cover, when little warm. If color in not full enough add chemic.

YELLOW- For one pound goods, alum three ounces, sugar of lead three-fourths ounce; immerse goods in solution over night, take out, drain, and make a new lye with fustic one pound; dip until the required color is obtained.

CRIMSON-For one pound goods, alum three ounces; dip at hand heat one hour; take out and drain while making new dye by boiling ten minutes, chochineal three ounces, bruised nutgalls two ounces and cream of tartar one-fourth ounce, in one pail of water; when little cool, begin to dip, raising heat to boil; dip one hour; wash and dry.

dyes

SKY BLUE on SILK or COTTON – VERY BEAUTIFUL- Give goods as much color from a solution of blue vitriol two ounces, to water one gallon, as it will take up in dipping fifteen minutes; then run it through lime water. This will make a beautiful and durable sky blue.

BROWN on SILK or COTTON – VERY BEAUTIFUL – After obtaining a blue color as above, run goods through a solution of prussiate of potash one once, to water one gallon.

YELLOW- For one pound goods, alum three ounces, sugar of lead three-fourths ounce; immerse goods in solution over night, take out, drain, and make a new lye with fustic one pound; dip until the required color is obtained.

CRIMSON-For one pound goods, alum three ounces; dip at hand heat one hour; take out and drain while making new dye by boiling ten minutes, chochineal three ounces, bruised nutgalls two ounces and cream of tartar one-fourth ounce, in one pail of water; when little cool, begin to dip, raising heat to boil; dip one hour; wash and dry.

SKY BLUE on SILK or COTTON – VERY BEAUTIFUL- Give goods as much color from a solution of blue vitriol two ounces, to water one gallon, as it will take up in dipping fifteen minutes; then run it through lime water. This will make a beautiful and durable sky blue.

BROWN on SILK or COTTON – VERY BEAUTIFUL – After obtaining a blue color as above, run goods through a solution of prussiate of potash one once, to water one gallon.

 

More interesting and sometimes humorous solutions and old recipes can be found in the book  VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past   Now also in paperback, makes a great gift!

VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past


By (author): Donna R Causey
List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble. She has authored numerous genealogy books. RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE) is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2) is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series) Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1) is the continuation of the story. . For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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5 comments

  1. Debbie Fincher

    I’m in doubt about these being “the good old days”!

    1. Paul Chramer

      Well, you could leave your doors unlocked.

  2. Charles Rice

    These hard working people are the ones who made this country great..

  3. Crystal Maddox Martin

    Wow! And they call them The Good ole Days? The little things u never think of..We are blessed today!

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