Scientific American 15, 9.10.1869
There are few prettier ornaments, and none more economical andlasting, than bouquets of dried grasses, mingled with the various graphalia, or unchangeable flowers. They have but one fault; and that is, the want of other colors besides yellow and drab or brown. To vary their shade, artificially, these flowers are sometimes dyed green. This, however, is in bad taste, and unnatural. The best effect is produced by blending rose and red tints, together with a very little pale blue, with the grasses and flowers, as they dry naturally. The best means of dyeing dried leaves, flower, and grasses, is simply to dip them into the spirituous liquid solution of the various compounds of aniline. Some of these have a beautiful rose shade; others red, blue, orange, and purple. The depth of color can be regulated by diluting, if necessary, the original dyes with methyl or spirit down to the shade desired. When taken out of the dye they should be exposed to the air to dry off the spirit. They then require arranging, or setting into form, as, when wet, the petals and fine filaments have a tendency to cling together, which should not be. A pink saucer, as sold by most druggists at sixpence each, will supply enough rose dye for two ordinary bouquets. The druggist also supply the simple dyes of aniline of various colors, at the same cost. The pink saucer yields the best rose dye. By washing it off with water and lemon juice, the aniline dyes yield the best violet, mauve, and purple colors.
- S. Piesse.