The Dyer's Guide. Chapter VI. On Dyeing Cotton And Silk. On dyeing and re-dyeing cotton furniture yellow.

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,

If the furniture, such as rough or finished cotton or cambric, intended for yellow linings for bed or window curtains, be in a perfectly bleached state, which is now generally the case, according to the number of the pieces, so must the size of the copper be to boil the weld in for the yellow dye. A small copper holding four or five pails would do for three pieces of twenty eight yards each. The weld may be purchased by the half bundle, the bundle, or the load. Half a bundle would be enough for the above quantity of cotton, if a moderate yellow is wanted. The weld must be increased or decreased according as the pattern approaches a straw, a canary, a lemon, or towards a gold colour or orange.

The weld must be boiled about twenty minutes, the liquor then strained off into a proper tub, and the weld boiled again. While the boilings are going on, three tubs, being wine pipes cut in two, must be got ready and made particularly clean, being also previously seasoned for the work. One is to receive the boiled weld with some cold water to regulate it to the heat which the hand will bear; the other is for water, and as much alum liquor as will colour it and make it taste strong; and the third is to contain clear water to wash the furniture off.

Whatever yellow is in fashion (or indeed any fashionable colour,) has commonly a fashionable name. But if the dyer can, by his experience, proportion his drugs to the weakest, and from that to the strongest shade, let the name be what it may, after he has a set of patterns of his own dyeing, he will see, upon the first sight of any colour, how to set about it.

In the present instance let the pattern be a moderately pale colour of yellow; then put all the first boiling of the weld in the first tub, and cool down as above directed. Two or three persons should then work the pieces quick from end to end by the selvages, that they may be even, two may do this; one of whom must be an expeditious hand to work them and keep them even. When they have been edged over six or seven times, they are to be folded out upon a board laid over the tub, and wrung as dry as possible by two persons. When they are all out, they are passed in the same manner through the tub of alum, and, after six or seven turns, they are to be taken out of the alum liquor, wrung as before, and then washed off.

By this time the second weld liquor will be boiled; some of the first must be thrown away, and the second weld liquor added in its place. The goods are then passed through as before, and wrung out; the alum liquor being strengthened,- they are passed through it, wrung out as before, and then washed off: the water in the wash tub having been changed.

In some instances verdigris is used instead of alum; and in other cases it is used in addition to the alum. For some shades old fustic is used instead of weld, and sulphate of copper instead of verdigris.

The alum solution, and the sulphate of copper, and the verdigris, or acetate of copper should be always ready. It is necessary to have a tub for each, in size proportioned to the work to be done; but larger for the alum than for the other two.

Sulphate of iron is also used in some dark greys, browns, slates, and in all blacks; this will require a tub as large or larger than that for alum.

When the yellows are dyed and wrung as dry as possible, they should be taken into a close room or stove to dry, particularly in London, because of the smoke, especially in winter. A German, or other stove, should be placed in the room, the size of which, as well as the number of the stoves, must be regulated by the quantity of the work. When the goods are dry they must be sent to the callenderers, if directed to be callendered; but the general and better way is to stiffen them with starch after they are dyed, and before they are dry; and when dry they should be sent to the glazers, instead of the callenderers, except when both branches are carried on by the same person.

When furniture, originally yellow, has become faded, it may be re-dyed thus: In this case it should be dyed rather of a fuller shade than the original. A large flat tub, such as described above, is to be filled three parts full of water, to which sufficient sulphuric acid must be added to make it taste strongly sour. After being well stirred, the pieces are to be put in, and worked in this sour liquor; and the yellow dye in consequence is strip ped off. If the acid liquor be not strong enough more acid must be added, with the precaution of well mixing it with the water, and the goods must be passed through the liquor again: by these means the yellow is discharged. They are then to be taken out on a board upon the tub and wrung by two persons; then to be washed off and wrung, washed and wrung again, when they are fit to be dyed.

It is still to be remembered that any faded or worn out colour, or that goods more or less decayed, seldom become so bright as the colour which a new piece of goods receives from the same dye.

Some cloths for re-dyeing require the application of oxymuriate or chloride of lime to discharge their colours, particularly when madder or galls, &c. form the constitutent parts of the dye. In this case if a bleacher be near it might be best to let him perform the process with the oxymuriate of lime; not only from the pernicious nature, but also from the expense of it, which, unless the business be upon a large scale, will not pay the dyer for his trouble.

However, if the dyer thinks proper to perform this operation, then the oxymuriate of lime or bleacher's ashes, &c. may be obtained at the dry salters and dissolved in a cask, and the clear liquor used in proportion to the quantity of goods, the colour of which is intended to be discharged, which, when done, should be washed off in two waters at least before they are dyed.

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