Dye Recipies from the Innsbruck

About the Recipies

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Note 1: It dulls down a bright red as well as being a brown dye on its own. According to Ploss, What these documents term "brown" varied from a true, deep brown to a brownish-violet. Back to Text

Note 2:The nutshells in question are most likely walnut shells, which are famous for their rich brown and black dyes. Because of the tannin in the hulls, they do not require a mordant . The black they produce is more of a very dark brown than a pure black, however. (Back to Text)

Note 3: This is one of the few medieval recipies extant which shows how to dye with water-insoluble dyes. According to Ploss, it was most likely used for dying wool, which holds the non-water-soluble colours the best. (Back to Text)

Note 4: This is the least believable recipe in the manuscript; although crabshells have been used to dye foodstuffs pink, Emil Ploss states that they had no discernable effect on fabric when he tested the recipe. (Back to Text)

Note 5: Brasilwood is dark red in hue: mixing acer campestre to it brings an orangish hue to the dye, notes Ploss. (Back to Text)

Note 6: The mention of black dye in this recipie is both obvious and confusing; obviously, if one took a substance and added black dye to it, one would then have a black dye. Elder leaves, however, also contain tannin and can be used as a mordant to fix other colours. It could be used to make the black dye colorfast. (Back to Text)