Has anyone had any experience dyeing line with such natural dyes as woad, madder, etc.?
Years ago I wore a natural “oatmeal” linen hunting frock with my Revolutionary War impression. Some friends were doing a batch of indigo dyeing at a local colonial farm, so I decided to dye it blue. First I stripped off the fringe, and dyed that separately in modern RIT dye (came out pink!). The frock was tossed into a big iron kettle over a fire, and the dyers slowly stirred it for a while. When it was pulled out, it was vibrant Kermit-the-Frog green, and before our eyes the dye reacted with the air and turned sky blue. Fascinating to watch! When I got home I gave it a rinse with baking soda to remove the acidity of the dye, and after it dried I sewed the fringe back on. Sky blue with pink fringe, a perfect match to the red Regimental coats with red facings, ha! George Washington would have been proud. I’m always puzzled when people say how hard it is to dye linen. Granted, modern dyes work better on it than many ancient ones! But it is certainly possible to achieve a wide variety of