Madder consists of the ground-up dried roots of a plant Rubia

tinctorum, cultivated in France, Holland and other parts of Europe,

as well as in India. Madder is one of the best and fastest dyes. It is

used also in combination with other dyes to produce compound colours.

The gradual raising of the temperature of the dye bath is essential in

order to develop the full colouring power of madder; long boiling

should be avoi
ed, as it dulls the colour. If the water is deficient

in lime, brighter shades are got by adding a little ground chalk to

the dye bath, 1 to 2 per cent.

Madder is difficult to dye as it easily rubs off and the following

points should be noted.

(1). The baths should be quite clean. Rusty baths must not

be used.

(2). Before dyeing, the wool must be thoroughly washed so as

to get rid of all superfluous mordant.

(3). A handful of bran to the pound of wool, helps to

brighten the colour.

(4). The wool should be entered into a tepid dye bath and

raised to boiling in 1 hour and boiled for 10 minutes or


(1) RED

Mordant with 1/4 lb. Alum to the pound of wool. Boil for 1 hour, let

cool in mordant, wring out and put away in bag for 3 or 4 days. Wash

very thoroughly. Then dye with 5 to 8 ozs. madder according to depth

of colour required, and a handful of bran for every pound of wool.

Enter in cool bath and bring slowly to the boil in an hour or more.

Boil for a few minutes.


Mordant with Alum. Dye with 4 to 4-1/2 ozs. madder to lb. wool and a

very small quantity of logwood (1/2 oz. to 1 oz. to 3 or 4 lbs. of



(1 lb.) Mordant with 2-1/2 ozs. Copper Sulphate. Dye with 2 ozs. to 4

ozs. Madder according to depth of colour required. For yellow brown

add a small quantity of fustic (1/4 oz. to the lb.)


Mordant wool with 3% Chrome (see p. 9), wash well and dye with 5 to 8

ozs. madder, bringing slowly to the boil, and boil for 1 hour.

Various shades of brownish red can be got by a mixture of madder,

fustic and logwood with a Chrome mordant in varying proportions such

as 28 per cent Madder, 12 per cent Fustic, 1 per cent Logwood for a

brownish claret. 5 per cent Madder, 4 per cent Fustic, 1/2 per cent

Logwood for tan.