Colourful Past: Origins, Chemistry and Identification of Natural Dyestuffs, The

Judith H. Hofenk de Graaff

UK Price: £70.00 US Price: $100.00

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ISBN: 1873132131
Binding: Hardback
Dimensions: 245 x 174 mm
Pages: 408
Illustrations: 68 colour

This publication is intended to provide a quick overview of well-known dyestuffs that can be found in objects of cultural value in order to contribute to the knowledge of historic textiles and their preservation. Aimed mainly at conservators, conservation students, curators and textile historians, the book presents information on the most relevant dyestuffs used for dyeing textiles, the relation between dyestuffs and organic pigments in paintings and their historical relevance. Emphasis is placed on the combination of historical, technical and scientific knowledge and the way it can be used for the benefit of the conservation of historic textiles.

Until the early 1980s the identification of natural dyestuffs was developed and carried out using thin-layer chromatography (TLC) but the development of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) opened up greater possibilities and over the past 30 years hundreds of historic textiles have been investigated using this technique. From many investigations carried out for individual museums and institutions, the author has chosen a number of case studies to illustrate both the possibilities and limitations of dyestuff analysis.

This title, is published by Archetype Publications Ltd and Abegg Stiftung, Riggisberg, Switzerland (

Das Buch fällt durch sein schönes, übersichtliches Layout und seinen systematischen Aufbau auf. Die umfangreiche Bibliographie am Ende des Buches umfasst an die 350 Zitate. Zusätzlich findet man bei jedem Kapitel Literaturangaben...Dieses Standardwerk auf dem Gebiet der Naturfarbstoffe ist durch seine spezielle Gestaltung einem großen Personenkreis zu empfehlen. Für Textilsammlungen verantwortliche Kustoden/innen und Textilrestauratoren/innen zählen ebenso dazu wie im Bereich Textilien arbeitende Kunsthistoriker/innen, Ethnologen/innen und Archäologen/innen, auf Naturfarbstoffe spezialisierte Naturwissenschaftler/innen und alle an historischen Textilien und Textilfärbetechniken Interessierte.
RESTAURO (November 2005)

...beautifully presented book...packed with historical, technical and scientific information, gathered from many years of research...Although this book is aimed mainly at conservators, conservation students, museum keepers and textile historians, it contains a wealth of information to interest…natural dyers.
Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers 213 (March 2005) 39

Clearly useful as a dye reference...This is a lovely book, and one to which other researchers can look to for inspiration.
Journal of the Canadian Association for Conservation 29 (2004) 38-39