Dictionarium polygraphicum. A Blue Dye for Silk. How to prepare a BLUE dye. An excellent liquor... To dye Blue.

Dictionarium Polygraphicum:
Or, The Whole Body of Arts Regularly Digested.
Vol I.
London: Printed for C. Hitch and C. Davis in Pater-noster Row, and S. Austen in St. Paul's Church Yard. MDCCXXXV.
A Blue Dye for Silk.
Procure a tub that may be close covered, put into it a lye made of three pailfuls of river or rain water and clean beech ashes, put in also two handfuls of wheaten bran, two ounces of madder, two ounces of white wine tartar, beaten to powder, one pound of pot-ashes, half a pound of indigo pounded small; stir it very well with a stick every twelve hours for fourteen days, till it tinges a sort of green, and when the dye is grown bright, it must be stirr'd every morning. Put the silk into a warm fresh lye, wring it out and stir it about in the dye some time afterwards, letting it hang in the dye, according to the custom of dying; and besides the blue copper, there ought to be another copper full of lye, that when the silk is wrung out of the dye, it may be rinsed in it; and after it has been wrung very clean out of that, rinse it again in river water, beat it and dry it.
If the silk be moistened in this latter lye or suds, before it is dyed, there is no need of the first above-mentioned lye.
Several sorts of Blue may be made with this dye, either brighter or darker at pleasure, according to the time they are left in it, and when the copper grows low, you may fill it up again out of the rinsing fat; but when the blue copper or fat grows weak, then put in a quarter of a pound of pounded indigo, and half a pound of pot ashes, half an ounce of madder, an handful of wheaten bran, and a quarter of an ounce of tartar pounded, and let it stand eight days without using it, stirring it every twelve hours, and then you may dye with it again as before.

How to prepare a BLUE dye.
Put a pailful of water into a kettle that will hold it, hang it over the fire; put in a handful of unslack'd lime, two pound of indigo, one pound of pot ashes, and let them boil together for an hour, letting them dissolve.
Then having made clean a copper that will hold a tun of water, put into it two pound of madder, two pound of bran, and two pound of pot ashes; boil them a little, and let them settle, and pour the indigo upon them; then strain the lye also into the fat, but the indigo especially must be digested very well, and dissolved, and the copper fill'd with water, covered close, and a fire made under it; suffer it to grow warm, but not hot, stirring it about every two hours till it ferments, and as soon as it begins to melt or digest, it will also begin to turn yellowish, and then you may dye with it, taking care that your hands are very clean, and free from all sorts of grease.
When you have dy'd with the suds, you must strengthen them afresh with pot-ashes; but you must take care to do this neither too much nor too little; for if you are guilty of either extreme, the whole copper full of lye is spoil'd.
Neither ought you to dye too often at one time; but betwixt every time you dye, the liquor must be very well stirred.

An excellent liquor to make the blue suds work, in case it happens that they will not, by reason of some defect.
Take four ounces of madder, four ounces of pot ashes, and two handfuls of bran; boil them together, and pour the liquor into the blue suds; stir it well about, and it will make it work; and if it be too much fattened with ashes, then hang a bag of wheat flour in it, and that will attract all the fatness to it; and if it be yet defective in any particular, add to it a small quantity of salt-petre, and that will bring it to a fermentation, as will also a little grounds of beer, which indeed is one of the best remedies.

To dye Blue.
You must first boil, beat and rinse the silk, and prepare it while it is white without alum; then boil it in the blue suds, and wring it out, and dry it, after the same manner as you do greens.

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