Early American Weaving and Dyeing

Early American Weaving and Dyeing

by J. and R. Bronson
     
 

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This landmark work is a practical and historical guide to hand-weaving patterns and dye recipes. It revolutionized 19th-century practices by revealing closely held trade secrets to home weavers and dyers, and giving recipes the home craftsman could use. While not intended for the beginner, this book is a great source of early weaving crafts and authentic dye

Overview

This landmark work is a practical and historical guide to hand-weaving patterns and dye recipes. It revolutionized 19th-century practices by revealing closely held trade secrets to home weavers and dyers, and giving recipes the home craftsman could use. While not intended for the beginner, this book is a great source of early weaving crafts and authentic dye recipes for craftsmen who know the fundamentals of weaving and dyeing.
Of greatest value, perhaps, are the 35 weaving crafts with their instructions. Included are Bird Eyes, Herring Bone, Eight Shaft Coverlet, Diamond Coverlet, Plain Block Carpet, Damask Diaper, Curtain Diaper, and more. Then come dye recipes and methods for dyeing cotton and wool, all using natural dyes. Also included are tables and calculations for the size and amount of yarn required for various projects, a description of dye-woods and drugs, recipes for varnishes and satins, and more.
For this edition Rita J. Adrosko, Curator of the Division of Textiles of the National Museum of History and Technology, has written a helpful introduction containing information on how best to make use of this volume as well as a short glossary of terms. With only a few adaptations to contemporary methods, the modern home weaver and dyer can make great practical use of this valuable book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486156132
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
01/30/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
240
File size:
12 MB
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Read an Excerpt

Early American Weaving and Dyeing

The Domestic Manufacturer's Assistant and Family Directory in the Arts of Weaving and Dyeing


By J. Bronson, R. Bronson

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 1977 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15613-2



CHAPTER 1

DIRECTION I.


To Dye Blue on Cotton and Linen in the Cold Dye.

In the first place, fill a hogshead about one quarter full of water.

2. Dissolve 16 pounds copperas in about four pails full of warm water, in a small tub or kettle, and then add it to the water in the hogshead and stir it for two or three minutes, then put 8 pounds of finely ground indigo to it, and rake it up well, for about five minutes.

3. You must now slack 20 pounds of good stone lime with water, which is best done by first putting the lime into a very low or flat tub. When the lime is slacked to a powder, and while it is hot, put it into the hogshead and rake it well several times in the course of two or three hours.

4. The hogshead is then to be filled with water within two inches of the top, then rake it well several times during two days, then leave it to settle over night, and on the morning of the third day, it will be ready for dyeing.

5. If the dye should not be clear, and should not have a deep blue froth or scum on the top, you must add about two pounds of lime, and rake it two or three times during the day, and the next morning it will be fit for use.

6. If the sediment of the dye be of a yellowish green the dye is in a good condition; but if it is of a dull and dark grass green then add about 2 pounds of copperas which you must dissolve in the dye by the help of the dye rake, (the rake is made by putting a handle through a piece of hard board, in the form of one third of a circle, having the rounding edge made thin,) by pounding and raking with it on the bottom of the dye vat. In case the dye should not be clear, add a little lime and it will settle it. If the froth on the surface of the dye should be of a dull blue color, add some copperas and indigo, which will restore it to a right state for dyeing.

7. When you have dyed two or three days in the dye, you must put into it about 2 pounds of copperas and 3 pounds of lime; then beat the copperas fine on the bottom with the rake, and stir it up until it is dissolved. After using the dye a few days, should you find that the dye wants more copperas or lime, you may know by attending to the before mentioned rules, how to vary the quantity of the articles which you add; but you will observe, that if the sediment of the dye is of a dark green, it wants copperas, but if it bears too much on the yellow it requires a little lime.

When your dye is ready for dipping, place two narrow strips of wood across the top of the hogshead, to rest your sticks upon, also one to drain the yarn on.

* * *

Method of Dyeing.

1. If you calculate to color regularly every day, to perform with advantage, it will be found necessary to boil out enough yarn at once, to last for dyeing at least two days. After you have rinsed the yarn intended to be dyed in one day, you will wring it hard and even a pound at a time, and shake it out well, and place your sticks across the horse, or yarn frame, observing not to shake out the yarn till a few minutes before you begin to color it, as otherwise it would be liable to get dry.

2. To dye blue on cotton, in a profitable manner, there should always be several blue dyes, in a dye house, so that you may have some new dyes, some with about a quarter of the strength used out, some about half and some nearly all used out.

3. Allowing you have several dyes, as above stated, you will begin to dip in the following manner, after stir. ring in the froth of the dye. Begin by dipping 5 lbs. of yarn in the weakest dye, continually turning one pound after another, for about 10 minutes; then take out one pound after another and place them across the stick to drain. You will then wring it out a little, on a pin, which should be fixed horizontally in a piece of plank over the hogshead; then carry it to the yarn frame and wring it out on the wringing machine, or on the pin which is to be fixed into a post about 3 feet from the floor, having a small tub under it to catch the dye which you wring out.

The yarn is to be shook out on the same pin which you use for wringing; placing the sticks as fast as you wring and shake them out, across the yarn frame.

4. You may dip 20 pounds of white yarn in this manner in the weakest dye. After you have proceeded in this way with each 5 pound parcel, you will then empty the dye which you have wrung out in the tub, back into the hogshead which you have just dipped in. The liquor must be put back again in the same way, in every die that you dip in.

5. You will now observe to take 5 pounds that were dipped last in the weak dye, and dip in the second or next strongest, of which the strength is about half used out. In this manner proceed with the remainder of the 20 pounds, observing always to have that which was dipped last in each of the dyes, dipped first in the next strongest.

6. In the next place, go through with the 20 pounds in the third dye, of which the strength is about one quarter part used out; and lastly give each 5 pounds one more dip in a new dye or the best you have. By this method you will dip 20 pounds of yarn, in 4 dyes of different strength which will finish it, and by observing this rule the yarn will be well penetrated, and of an even color.

7. If your yarn at any time is not like to be deep enough, let it remain in the dye a longer time, but if it is like to be too dark, then shorter dips must be observed.


After you have finished dyeing for one day, rake up all the dyes, and leave them to settle until next morning. When the weakest dyes are entirely exhausted so they will not stain the yarn, throw them away, rince out the vat and set again. Deep blue yarn is not generally rinsed, but if you wish a bright color you can obtain it by turning your yarn a few minutes in oil of vitriol and water, having it only as sour to the taste as weak vinegar; then wring, rinse, wring again and dry it.

* * *

Pale Blue.

When you wish to color yarn pale blue, it must be done by giving it two dips of three minutes each, in a dye half used out, or three dips in a dye still weaker; then wring and air it: afterwards it is to be rinsed, wrung and dryed.

CHAPTER 2

DIRECTION II.


To dye Blue on Cotton and Linen on a small scale suitable for families.

1. Fill a barrel which is well bound, clean and entirely tight, about a quarter part full of water.

2. Dissolve 4 pounds of copperas in a pail of warm water, in a clean kettle, and add it to the water in the barrel: stir it up two or three minutes, then put in two pounds of finely ground indigo of a good quality, and stir it up well for 5 minutes.

3. In the next place you must slack 5 pounds of stone lime, by putting it into a kettle, then sprinkle water on it until it is slacked to powder; while it is yet hot, put it into the barrel, and stir it up well four or five times in the course of two hours; then fill the barrel with water within two inches of the top; stir it several times during that day and the next, and the morning of the third day it will be in order for dyeing the yarn.

4. Before you begin to dip the yarn, you must fix a small frame, or other convenience, on two sides of the barrel, to rest your dye-sticks across while you are turning the yarn in the dye. This support for the sticks should be about 6 or 8 inches above the top of the barrel, to prevent the ends of the cotton skeins from disturbing the settlings of the dye. Should linen yarn be dyed in a barrel dye, the skeins must be doubled; in that case the sticks are rested on the top of the barrel.

* * *

Method of Dyeing.

When your dye is new you can color five pounds the first day which must be well boiled out before hand in weak pearl ash water, or soap suds, then rinsed, wrung and shaken out as described in the first remarks on preparing yarn for dyeing.

1. Place two pounds and a half of yarn on 2 sticks, having the yarn divided into parcels of 3 or 4 skeins, so as to be convenient in wringing it out of the dye; then stir in the froth on the top with a stick. You will then put in the yarn and turn one parcel at a time; continue turning it in the dye for 10 minutes, then wring out one parcel at a time, shake it out well and place it again on the sticks to air.

2. Now take the remainder of the white yarn, being two pounds and a half, and put it on two more sticks, and proceed in the same manner as before. Then wring, shake out and air it, until the green shade changes to blue.

3. It must now be observed, that the yarn which was dipped last, must be dipped first the next time, in order to give both an equal share of the strength of the dye. You will proceed in this manner until it is dark enough, then wring and dry it.


After you have colored 5 pounds of yarn you will find the dye considerably weaker, so the second day you will dye a less quantity, and repeat the dippings as many times as you find necessary ,observing to wring and air between each dipping, as before directed.

When you have colored in your dye two days, it must be recruited a little, by putting in 8 ounces of copperas, which should be pounded a little—also put in three quarters of a pound of slacked lime; then stir it up well for 15 minutes with a rake, which you will find described in direction first. The next morning it will be in order for dyeing.

After you have colored in your dye a few days you will find you cannot finish dark blues; but middling and pale blues can be dyed, which will be wanted for plaids, &c.

When your dye is so much reduced that it will not stain yarn any more, throw it away, wash out the barrel and set again.

CHAPTER 3

DIRECTION III.


Coppers Color on Cotton.

To dye 5 pounds of yarn it will require

1 pound 12 ounces of copperas,

8 pounds of stone lime,

1 ounce sugar of lead,

4 ounces of pearl-ash,

4 ounces of hog's lard.


Use the same proportions to dye any number of pounds.

The yarn must be boiled out a day before hand, but for this color it is not to be rinsed.


Preparation.

1. A day or two before you wish to color your yarn, take a kettle that will contain a pail full, into which you will put six quarts of hot water, then add to it 1 pound 12 ounces of copperas, and 1 ounce of sugar of lead; stir it well until it is all dissolved, and when it is made use of, mix and take off the scum.

2. Another kettle or tub is then to be prepared which will contain half a barrel of water: in this you will put 8 pounds of stone lime, and slack it with water to powder; it is then to be filled up with water and stirred well three or 4 times during the day, then leave it to settle during the night. When it is used, be careful to dip out the clear part only.

3. Now prepare a tub or kettle, which is to be used for dipping the yarn, into which you must put 3 gallons of water, and one gallon of the prepared copperas liquor.

4. Another tub or kettle is to be prepared, into which you will put 6 gallons of clear lime water, and 4 ounces of pearlash. When these two last tubs are prepared, you must then ring and shake out the yarn, and place it on five sticks.

* * *

Method of Dyeing.

I. Begin to dip your yarn by putting the 5 pounds at once in the copperas liquor, resting the sticks on the kettle or tub. Turn one pound at a time continually for about 15 minutes; it is then to be taken out, wrung and aired.

2. In the next place dip it in the lime and pearlash liquor, and turn it as before for 10 minutes; then take it out, wring and air it as usual.

3. Now add to the copperas liquor which you have dipped in, 3 quarts of water, and one quart of the prepared copperas liquor and mix it well together.

4. The lime water which you have dipped in must now be emptied, and 6 gallons of fresh and clear lime water put in.

5. The yarn is now to be dipped in the copperas liquor for 15 minutes, then wrung and aired, then dipped in the lime liquor for 10 minutes: it is then to be aired and rinsed.

6. A tub or kettle is now to be prepared with about 6 gallons of boiling water, then add to it 4 ounces of hog's lard; mix it well and dip the yarn in it for about ten minutes: it is then to be taken out, wrung and dried.


N. B. Should you wish for nothing more than a common copperas color, you may leave out the pearlash and sugar of lead.

Those who wish to dye this or any other color on a larger scale, must use the dyeing articles in the same proportion. The greatest part of the receipts we have given are on a small plan, but it will be found easy to calculate the quantity of liquor and size of the tubs that will be required, to dye cotton yarn in larger quantities.

CHAPTER 4

DIRECTION IV.


Yellow on Cotton.

To dye 2 pounds of yarn it will require the following articles.

8 ounces of allurn,

½ an ounce of pearlash,

2 pounds of fustic,

1½ ounces of blue vitriol.


Use the same proportions to dye any number of pounds.

1. The yarn should be boiled out a day before hand, and after the same method as will be found in the first remarks on preparing yarn for dyeing, it is then to be rinsed, shook out, and put on two sticks.

2. Dissolve in a brass kettle, containing a pail full of hot water, 8 ounces of allum, and half an ounce of pearlash; when the liquor has cooled so you can just endure the hand in it, dip the yarn and turn it continually for about half an hour; it is then to be wrung and shook out; then sink the yarn entirely under the liquor and let it remain over night. The next morning wring it out, and throw away the allum liquor.

* * *

Dyeing.

1. Prepare a brass or copper kettle with about three pails of water, and add to it 2 pounds of fustic chips cut up fine, which is to be boiled two hours.

2. The chips are now to be taken out, and the liquor suffered to cool so as to admit the hand in it without scalding; then put in the yarn on the sticks and turn it continually for half an hour: it is then to be taken out, wrung and put on the sticks to air.

3. You must then dissolve one ounce and a half of blue vitriol, a little before hand in some of the warm dye; then add it to the dye liquor: the yarn is then to be dipped and turned in it for about ten minutes, then wring and dry it in the shade.

* * *

N. B. Instead of using fustic you may make a strong dye liquor either from yellow oak bark, hickory bark, peach leaves, or arsemart; but should you use either of the barks, the outside of it should be shaved off. After steeping and boiling either of the above, the liquor must either be strained or poured off clear. Should you use peach leaves or arsemart, it will require as much as can be crowded under the water in the kettle.

CHAPTER 5

DIRECTION V.


Yellow on Cotton.

To dye 2 pounds of yarn it will require,

8 ounces of allum,

½ an ounce of pearlash,

1 pound of yellow oak bark,

1 ounce of blue vitriol.


Use the same proportions to dye any number of pounds,

1. Boil out the yarn as usual, then rinse it clean and wring it hard a short time before you dip it.

2. Prepare a brass or copper kettle with a pail full of water, heat it scalding hot, then dissolve in it 8 ounces of allum, and half an ounce of pearlash. When the liquor has cooled a little so that you can turn the yarn without scalding your hand, then place the yarn on two sticks and dip and turn it in the liquor for half an hour: it is then to be taken out, wrung, shook out, and sunk under the liquor to remain over night. The next morning wring it out and nearly dry it. The allum liquor you have used is then to be emptied away.

3. In the next place prepare the brass or copper kettle with about 3 pails full of clean water, and add to it either one pound of yellow oak bark when it is in a green state, or half a pound of it when it is dry. In either case observe to use only the middle and inside coat of the bark. Should you use it dry, cut it up fine or grind it, and then put it loosely into a clean open wove bag.


Whether it is dry or green, you must put it into the water when it is cold; raise the heat by a gentle fire, and when the liquor is blood warm put in the yarn having the sticks rest on the top of the kettle: turn it for one hour and a half, during which time the water should not become warmer than the hand can bear without scalding. You will at last increase the fire and bring the liquor to a scalding heat for a few minutes, then allow it to boil gently for 2 or 3 minutes. It is then to be taken out, cooled, wrung and dried.

CHAPTER 6

DIRECTION VI.


Black on Cotton.

To dye 5 pounds of yarn, it will require

2½ pounds of logwood,

1½ pounds of sumac,

½ peck of stone lime,

1 pound 8 ounces copperas,

12 ounces of fustic, and

4 ounces hog's lard.


Use the same proportions to dye any number of pounds.

The yarn is to be boiled out a day before hand but not rinsed. If you want an excellent black, dye the yarn pale blue first in the indigo dye.

1. A day before you color black, prepare a half barrel tub, into which you will put half a peck of stone lime; slack it with water to a powder, then fill it up with water and stir it two or three times during the day, and the next morning it will be settled clear, and ready for use.

2. Dissolve in a small kettle one pound and ahalf of copperas, with 6 quarts of warm water, stir it to make it dissolve faster, and when you use it mix it together and skim it.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Early American Weaving and Dyeing by J. Bronson, R. Bronson. Copyright © 1977 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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