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Green leafs

Today I have these bright green spring colors and earthy tones to work with! I’m making 2 versions of a lesser known 15th century garment, I’ll tell you all about it when they are finished! For now, I’d like to focus on the color… As you probably know, in the medieval period there were only natural dyes. But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a large array of color! Different parts of plants and even insects were used and combined to create almost every color from the reddest scarlet to the darkest black, and so on. Green and brown dyes could come from –for instance- birch trees. The bark, which can also be used for medicinal purpose, gives a brown dye. Depending on the used mordant and the numbers of dyebaths, the white bark could turn fabrics into a luscious caramel color or a brown that’s nearly black. The twigs and leaves, on the other hand, produce a large variety of greens. A lighter green could be produces with a single dyebath and simpler additives. A vivid green would take more dyebaths and other plants, like woad, would have been added to the bath. Because intense colors take up more dyestuff and need more laboring hours, they would have cost quite a lot more than lighter or faded colors.

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