Friday, 21 September 2012

Leather Dyes - Old School

So, the copy of "The Plictho of Gioanventura Rosetti" that we ordered through inter-library loan came in the other week. It is a really cool book.

I've managed to go through it quickly and I've photocopied the relevant sections. Most of the book is about fabric dying but there are about 30 pages relevant to leather, including about 50 different recipes for leather applications. This includes nine that are instructions on how to prep the raw leather (not something I think I need given that I'm buying pre-tanned leather).

Colour-wise, it includes: nine recipes for blacks and greys, two for browns, eight for various tones of red, nine for different blues and five for various greens. There are also recipes for yellow, a dark wine colour and two for gilding.

Some of the recipes will take some work to decipher, either to figure out the ingredients and steps or because they are using odd units of measurement (exactly how much time does it take to say 6 paternosters?)

The good news is there are at least a couple of recipes that should be pretty easy to do, as long as I can get the ingredients.

The yellow uses what the book calls curcuma, which means nothing to me. Fortunately, the chart at the back says this is turmeric, which I know about. :) Wonder if it's the same grade of turmeric that is used as a spice. This colour might actually work nicely for the stick-purse, its supposed to be a brownish-yellow.

There's also a blue that seems fairly simple and uses indigo, so I'd just need a source for that.

A number of the recipes call for roche alum or other types of alum.

To the research-mobile!!!!!! Time to find some merchants with pigment supplies.

It's funny, all of my work with period recipe books is going to come in handy, because the recipes here are formatted and explained the same way as a cooking recipe would have been. Now I just need to learn the terminology and I'll be set.

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