The Dyer's Guide. Chapter I. On dye-houses and the water proper for dyeing.

The Dyer's Guide
Being a Compendium of the Art of Dyeing
Linen, Cotton, Silk, Wool, Muslin, Dresses, Furniture, &c. &c.

With The Method of
Scouring Wool, Bleaching Cotton, &c.
Directions for Ungumming Silk, And For Whitening And Sulphuring Silk And Wool.
And Also
An Inttroductory Epitome of The Leading Facts in Chemistry, As Connected With The Art of Dyeing.

By Thomas Packer,
Dyer and Practical Chemist.

"Cet arte est un des plus utiles et des plus merveilleux qu'on connoisse."
- Chaptal.

"There is no art which depends so much on chemistry as dyeing."
- Garnett.

Second Edition,
Corrected and Materially Improved.

Printed for Sherwood, Gilbert, And Piper,

The dye-house should be as spacious as possible, according to the quantity of work intended to be done in it; it should be also as near as possible to a clear running stream. The floor should be a mixture of lime and cement, and sufficiently inclining, so that water, the old contents of the vats, &c. &c. may run off freely when thrown down.

A dyer cannot be too particular in regard to the water which he uses. Some pump, well, and other spring waters, contain iron; this is injurious to many colours, while for black, brown, slates, and grey, it is very advantageous. It has been supposed that some dyers succeed in dyeing even the very same colour in a superior manner, in consequence of the peculiar purity or other properties of the water which they use.

To discover whether water contains iron or not, a little tincture of galls or prussiate of potash must be dropped into it; if a purple or blue tinge be produced in the water, we may be assured that it does contain iron.

For dyeing delicate colours, the water, which ought to be chosen for such purpose the purest and best, should be heated with bran in a bag, when much of the contents of the water inimical to dyeing will rise to the top in the form of a scum, and should be taken off just before the water boils. Instead of bran, a little alum will answer the same purpose when it is not inimical to the colour intended to be dyed.

The boiling point of water is at the degree of 212° of Fahrenheit's thermometer; the freezing point is at 32° of the same instrument; blood heat is at 98°.

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