The green shell of the walnut fruit and the root are used for dyeing
brown. The husks to be used for dyeing must be collected green and
fresh, then covered with water and kept from the light to prevent them
oxidizing. In the walnut tree there is an astringent colourless
substance which gives a greenish yellow dye. This has the property of
absorbing oxygen from the air and turning dark brown. It is only the
le greenish stuff that can act as the dye, the dark brown
itself has no affinity for the wool. Acids should be added to the dye
bath to prevent oxidization. Without a mordant the colour is quite
fast, but if the wool is mordanted with alum a brighter and richer
colour is got. When used they are boiled in water for 1/4 hour, then
the wool is entered and boiled till the colour is obtained. Long
boiling is not good as it makes the wool harsh. It is much used as a
"saddening" agent; that is, for darkening other colours.
"The best and most enduring blacks were done with this
simple dye stuff, the goods being first dyed in the indigo
or woad vat till they were a very dark blue, and then
browned into black by means of the walnut root."--William
PEAT SOOT gives a good shade of brown to wool. Boil the wool for 1 to
2 hours with peat soot. Careful washing is required in several changes
of water. It is used sometimes for producing a hazel colour, after the
wool has been dyed with weld and madder.
OAK BARK. Mordant with alum and dye in a decoction of oak bark.
ONION SKINS. (Brown.) Mordant the wool with alum. Drying two or three
times in between makes the colour more durable. Dry. Wash. Boil a
quantity of onion skins, and cool; then put in wool and boil lightly
for 1/2 an hour to 1 hour; then keep warm for a while. Wring out and
BLACK. Mordant with 3% Bichromate of Potash for 45 minutes. Dye with 1
oz. Hematin crystals, 3/4 oz. madder, 1/2 oz. Persian berries. After
boiling for 1 hour remove wool and add 1/4 oz. cream of tartar, 1 oz.
cochineal, 3/4 oz. iron, 1/2 oz. copper sulphate. Return wool and boil
again for 1/2 hour. Wash in soap.