Dyers from the Plictho

The Plictho is the first printed book devoted entirely to the art of dyeing. Printed in the mid-sixteenth century in Italy, It contains hundreds of recipes for dyeing red, black and other colors.

To the left, two dyers are dyeing silk skeins. The dye vat is smaller than those shown in earlier pictures, and is made of wood. The skeins are taken from a box to the right--similar to that shown in the Tratatto images--and dipped into the dyebath. A rake appears to be hanging on the back wall. Rakes were used to stir dyebaths.

To the right, dyers are dyeing a length of cloth by cranking it over the reel. This cranking is what the author of the Plictho referred to as "swishings" in the translation of his work by Edelstein. The reel rests on two rods that are built into the furnace. The dyevat also rests on the furnace base.

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