To Dye Hats Green or any other Color.

Scientific American 35, 15.5.1852

A patent was granted to Robert Goulding of London, hat dyer, for his method of dyeing, staining and coloring beaver hats green or any other color. The inventor directs the nap of the hat to be raised by means of a card, on the side intended to be dyed, and then boiled in alum argon. A thin paste should be made of flour or clay, which is spread over every part that is not to be dyed and then closed; or the hat may be previously pasted, and instead of being boiled, it should only be simered in the same liquor. As soon as the paste is spread, plates of copper, or other metal, shaped like a common funnel, are fixed over the paste to prevent the dye  from penetrating through. In this state the hat is immersed in the dye till the color is sufficiently fixed, when it is taken out, opened and cleansed from the paste; but if any coloring particles have penetrated through the felt, they may be removed by rubbing them with a small quantity of spirit of salt, aquafortis, &c. The compounds employed in dyeing, are fudtic, turmeric, ebony, saffron, alum, argol, indigo, and vitrol, with urine or pearlash, at the option of the dyer; all which are used separately, or together, according to the color required.

[We cut the above from an exhange, and it shows how curiously fond some people are of wearing certain colors. The way of producing the color is certainly a fine subject of composition. The compounds employed for dyeing are fustic, turmeric, ebony, saffron, alum, argol, indigo, and vitriol, with urine or pearlash, all of which are used separately or together, according to the color required. Well, what color would they dye altogether, and what one separately? This is a fair question. Now, it would be exceedingly difficult to tell, for if used altogether, the one stuff would be neutralizing the effect of the other, and none of the stuffs separately would dye a color of any consequence. The fustic, turmeric, ebony and saffron, are used for dyeing yellow, with a mordant of alum and a little argol (brown tartar); the sulphate of indigo will dye a blue on wool, but what kind of color would vitriol or alum dye, if used separately? No color at all. The sulphate of indigo and fustic dye & green color on woolen goods, but pearlash and urine strip off or discharge the blue, consequently the man who should attempt to dye a green hat with the above ingredients, collectively or separately, would have a pretty green time of it. So much for the chemistry of this compound green hat dye.]

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