1 lb wool fabric
2.8 oz alum (1.3 oz for mordant; .5 oz x 3 for three afterbaths)
4.1 oz of tartar (2.6 oz for mordant, .5 x 3 for afterbaths
5 oz cochineal (should have been six, but didn't have enough)
1 gallon fermented bran water
Boil 4 gal water, add alum & tartar, add wetted wool. Boil 1 hour.
(note: I screwed up the mordant amounts, accidentally put in all 2.8 oz alum & 4.1 oz tartar into the main mordant vat. Grr.)
Add ground and sifted cochineal to 4 gal water + 1 quart bran water. Bring to simmer, add wetted wool.
Boil 1 hr, stirring constantly. Rinse.
Combine 1 qt bran water, .5 oz alum, .5 oz tartar in 4 gal water. Bring to boil. Add wool. Boil 15 minutes, stirring constantly. Rinse.
Repeat above step.
Repeat above step.
This was redacted from Plictho 46:
To dye cloth a very beautiful scarlet, in the manner of this City of Venice.
First weigh your cloth, and for each piece of cloth use about 6 ounces of grain. For the mordanting, for each pound of cloth, use a half ounce of roche alum, and one ounce of white tartar well pestled and sifted. Have a cauldron, and have clear water and put into it the alum and the tartar. Make beneath a good fire to the end that it wants to boil. Then put in the cloth and make it boil continually for one hour with a good fire below. Then you will take out the cloth and send it to be washed in water that is well running and wash well and then prepare the full cauldron. Set it on the fire and see that inside there be four pails of strong water, well fatted and well pungent, together with the water. As it shows signs of wanting to boil, put in the grain but first see that it is well pestled. When it is about to boil put in the cloth and dive it, that is, poke it beneath, and give if four or five rounds on the turn wheel. Then remove out the cloth and let it cool. Then send it to wash in running water. Then prepare a new bath and give it two or three baths, that is with the bran, and for each bath one pound of roche alum and one pound of tartar. If the cloth is too open, give it a new bath, that is a quarta of bran without tartar, and one pound of arsenic well pestled. Note that it needs to boil one quarter of an hour, each and every new bath, with bran. Also, if the cloth were to be overloaded, give it a new bath with bran without tartar, with a pound of roche alum.
The original Italian said "for each pound (lire) of cloth" rather than "for each piece of cloth", which makes more sense, as 6 oz of grain is hardly enough to dye 23 yards of wool broadcloth scarlet. My assumption for cloth: similar to broadcloth wool, 28-30 yards long & 80 lbs in weight (as required Anno 6 of Elizabeth Ith.s reign, per statute law). This works out to 2 2/3 lbs yd. This seemed a bit heavy to me, so I tweaked the proportions a bit.
This dye produced a deep, intense red. I suspect O.D.ing on the alum mordant made it a bit more crimson than scarlet. The unmordanted fabric was much duller. The dyebath was purple at first, orange-ish after an hour's boil. The residue in the first rinse was purplish; the color lost in the afterbaths was a brilliant red. The afterbaths produced a subtle but noticeable brightening of color, especially on the exhaust bath pieces. By the end of the third bath, no more dye was lost even when boiling. BEAUTIFUL! Plus, exhaust dyebath was enough for a good deal of pink.
1. Mordant, main dyebath, 3 afterbaths
2. Mordant, main dye bath, no afterbath
3. No mordant, main dye bath, 3 afterbaths
4. No mordant, main dye bath, no afterbaths.
5. Unmordanted wool dipped in exhaust bath, 3 afterbaths.
6. Unmordanted wool dipped in exhaust bath, no afterbaths.