The Dyer's Guide. Chapter V. On Dyeing Silk And Cotton Black, &c.

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,

Some of the more simple and less difficult processes of dyeing both cotton and silk, are described in the preceding chapters; we shall now describe those, not only for black, but for some other colours, which require more care and attention. For un-gumming and boiling silk, &c. see Chap. VI.

Silk has a strong affinity for galls, and advantage is sometimes taken of this: for silk, being a valuable article, is often galled to excess, merely to increase its weight.

Cotton has a strong affinity for iron, and iron has the same for gallic acid, wherever it may be found; therefore, in sumach, alder-bark, &c., iron unites with the acid, whenever both are connected by the medium of water. Tannin, doubtless, has also some share in such dyeing processes, although what does not even now appear to be well understood.

Black, Macquer observes, is rather difficult to be dyed upon silk; or, at least, there is reason to think so, from the numberless experiments which have been found necessary to the attainment of a good black, as well as from the multitude of heterogeneous ingredients which Macquer admitted into the composition of his various processes for this dye, some of which consisted of arsenic, corrosive sublimate, litharge, antimony, plumbago, and about ten other ingredients ! we shall not, therefore, detail such preposterous mixtures; one, however, we may just put down by way of showing what the art was in Macquer's time.

Take twenty quarts of strong vinegar, one pound of black nut galls pounded, and five pounds of iron filings; these ingredients are to be mixed in one vessel.

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