Dyers, c. 1800

This etching is from the Feldhaus Archive in Germany, dated to 1800. We can see how little the fundamental technologies used for dyeing have changed. The dyer reels fabric in a vat set into a stone furnace, stirring with a stick and standing on a step to do his work. Outside, fabric is rinsed in a river. In the background, a dyer grinds dyestuffs.

This image captures the dyer's workshop on the eve of the 19th century revolution in dyestuffs. Soon artificial and chemical dyes were to eclipse the natural stuffs that had been used for centuries. These new colors and the industrial revolution forever changed the dyer's trade.

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