Scientific American 9, 20.11.1847
There are but three colors in all nature, red, blue and yellow. All other supposed colors, are but combinations of these three, as we shall exhibit and prove as we go along in giving a number of practical receipts on Dyeing.
All goods to be dyed should be well cleansed, this is the true foundation of fine clear colors. To dye yellow on woolen goods, such as cloth, flannel or yarn. Quercitron bark, in quantity 4 oz. to the pound of yarn or flannel, should be scalded with boiling water in a clean vessel; the clear liquor should then be taken and put into a boiler with either a small quantity of alum, or nitro muriate of tin, and the goods boiled for half an hour in this. This process will also dye cotton. Muriate of tin is the best mordant to use with the bark. It is necessary sometimes, especially for dark shades, to give two or three dips, airing the goods well each time.
Silk can be dyed a good yellow by this process, only it should not be boiled, but it is better for a fine rich color on silk, to pass the goods through a strong solution of the annatto of soda, then wash them and put them to steep in a weak solution of alum for about half an hour and then run them through a warm bath of Quercitron bark and a little muriate of tin. The muriate of tin is made by feeding muriatic acid with granulated tin until the acid will take up no more. The acid generally takes up one third of its weight of tin. Fustic will also dye a yellow with alum for a mordant, either on woolen or silk, but it makes a poor color in comparison with the Quercitron, (American yellow oak bark.) Turmeric can also dye a yellow, but it is very fugitive.—Straw weild makes a fine yellow on silk and it is very fast, but it is scarcely known now in the art of dyeing. The best yellow on cotton is dyed with sugar, or nitre of lead and the bichromate of potass. The goods should be handled for about twenty minutes in a solution of sugar (acetate) of lead, pressed out of that and then passed through a solution of the chrome, then aired, passed through the lead and washed and dried. If the goods were dried out of the chrome, they would be full of dark reddish spots. The lead, or mordaunt for chrome colors, should always be about three times the weight of the chrome and 4 oz. of the crystals of the bichromate of potass (chrome,) will dye a very good yellow on cotton. Yellow is one of the simple colors to form a green. Green is a compound color of blue and yellow.
From these receipts any person may dye a yellow color, if they are careful to handle their goods well, the which must be while for this color.
(Our readers will bear in mind that these receipts for coloring are prepared for the "Scientific American," by a practical man, and therefore can be relied on as correct. —En.