A Dictionary of Arts: Gray Dye.

A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures, and Mines; containing A Clear Exposition of Their Principles and Practice

by Andrew Ure, M. D.;
F. R. S. M. G. S. Lond.: M. Acad. M. S. Philad.; S. PH. DOC. N. GERM. Ranow.; Mulh. Etc. Etc.

Illustrated with nearly fifteen hundred engravings on wood
Eleventh American, From The Last London Edition.
To which is appended, a Supplement of Recent Improvements to The Present Time.

New York: D Appleton & company, 200 Broadway. Philadelphia: George S. Appleton, 148 Chestnut St.


GRAY DYE. (Teinture grise, Fr.; Graufärbe, Germ.) The gray dyes, in their numerous shades, are merely various tints of black, in a more or less diluted state, from the deepest to the lightest hue.

The dyeing materials are essentially the tannic and gallic acid of galls or other astringents, along with the sulphate or acetate of iron, and occasionally wine stone. Ash gray is given for 30 pounds of woollen stuff, by one pound of gall-nuts, ½ lib. of wine stone (crude tartar), and 2½ lbs. of sulphate of iron. The glass and the wine stone being boiled with from 70 to 80 pounds of water, the stuff is to be turned through the decoction at a boiling heat for half an hour, then taken out, when the bath being refreshed with cold water, the copperas is to be added, and, as soon as it is dissolved, the stuff is to be put in and fully dyed. Or, for 36 pounds of wool; 2 pounds of tartar, ½ pound of galls, 3 pounds of sumach, and 2 pounds of sulphate of iron are to be taken. The tartar being dissolved in 80 pounds of boiling water, the wool turned through the solution for half an hour, and then taken out. The copper being filled up to its former level with fresh water, the decoction of the galls and sumach is to be poured in, and the wool boiled for half an hour in the bath. The wool is then taken out while the copperas is being added and dissolved; after which it is replaced the in the bath, and dyed gray with a gentle heat.

If the gray is too have a yellow cast, instead of the tartar, its own weight of alum is to be taken; instead of the galls, one pound of old fustic; instead of copperas, 3/4 of a pound of Saltzburg vitriol, which consists in 22 3/8(?) parts, of 17 of sulphate of iron, and 5 3/8 (?) of sulphate of copper; then proceed as above directed. Or the stuff may be first stained in a bath of fustic, next in a weak bath of galls with a little alum; then the wool being taken out, a little vitriol (common or Saltzburg) is to be put in, previously dissolved in in the decoction of logwood; and in this bath the dye is completed.

Pearl-gray is produced by passing the stuff first through a decoction of sumach and logwood (2 libs of the former to one of the latter), afterwards through a dilute solution of sulphate or acetate of iron; and finishing it in a weak bath of weld containing a little alum. Mouse-gray is obtained, when with the same proportions as for ash-gray, a small quantity of alum is introduced.

For several otner shades, as tawny-gray, iron-gray, and slate-gray, the stuff must receive a previous blue ground by dipping it in the indigo vat; then it is passed first through a boiling bath of sumach with galls, and lastly through the same baths at a lower temperature after it has received the proper quantity of solution of iron.

For dyeing silk gray, fustet, logwood, sumach, and elder-tree bark, are employed instead of galls. Archil and annotto are frequently used to soften and beautify the tint.

The mode of producing gray dyes upon cotton has been sufficiently explained in the articles CALICO PRINTING and DYEING.

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