Sunday, 29 September 2013

Figuring out more measurements - Leather dyes

I'm working on my next attempt at figuring out a period blue leather dye that actually works, and of course this means I have to figure out the measurements.

The next recipe I plan to try, which is from "Segreti per Colori", uses a liquid measurement call the foglietta. This is apparently a common measurement in period in Italy. As I discovered, Italian measurements in period are not exactly simple as they often had different meanings in different city states.

Ironically, one of my cookbooks has the answer, as it was also a common measurement for cooking.

Scappi uses this measurement a fair bit, although I`ve seen some commentary online that Scully may have misjudged the correct definition of his weights and measures.

I should probably get a copy of the book "Italian weights and measures from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century", because I have a feeling between my leather recipes and my cooking, this could come in handy.

Given this commentary about Scully`s translation, I think I`ll go with the recommended measurement from Italian weights and measures, which means I need to mix 1 oz of indigo with 450 ml of strong vinegar.

It`s a fairly simple recipe but once again there`s nothing in there that would help it to bind to the leather. Maybe the vinegar will help break down the indigo so the colour will actually soak into the leather, but there`s no mordants or anything else I would expect, so we`ll have to see how it does.

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