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Books - Natural Dyeing

Natural Dyes - Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science
by Dominique Cardon

This authoritive resource is an expanded, corrected and updated translation of the award winning book Le Monde des Teintures Naturelles (published 2003,Belin,Paris). It is aimed at dyers, scientists, designers, artists, weavers, spinners, curators, conservators and restorers, museums, research institutions... all those who have a professional or personal interest in, or passion for, colour.

At a time when more and more plants and animals are threatened with extinction by humanity's ever-increasing pressure on the land and oceans of the planet, this book sets out to record sources of colorants discovered and used on all the continents from antiquity until the present day.

Some 300 plants and 30 animals (marine molluscs and scale insects) are illustrated and discussed by the author, whose passion for natural dyes, with their colours of unequalled richness and subtlety, has taken her across the globe in search of dye sources and dyers. Botanical/ zoological details are given for each source and the chemical structures shown for each dye. Dyes employed by different civilisations, identified by dye analyses, are illustrated and relevant historical recipes and detailed descriptions of dyeing processes by traditional dyers are quoted and explained in the light of modern science. Other current uses of such colorants, e.g. in medicine and for food and cosmetics, are also noted.

Although natural dyes have been replaced largely by synthetic dyes, increasing worldwide awareness of the harmful consequences of the pollution resulting from the production and use of some synthetic colorants has led to a significant revival and renewed interest in natural colorants. As potential renewable resources, natural dyes are an integral part of the major issue of our time sustainable development. The aim of this book is to provide a scientific background for this important debate.

Dr Dominique Cardon is Directrice de Recherche, CNRS Laboratoire d'Histoire et d'Archéologie, Lyons, France.

Debbie says: "Natural Dyes is the latest title from renowned natural dyeing expert Dominique Cardon and is an amazingly comprehensive reference manual that will be a treasured addition to any natural dyer's library. It covers over 300 plant and 30 animal dyestuffs and includes an extensive section on lichens and fungi. There are useful illustrations of each dyestuff, information on cultivation and harvesting as well as chemical analysis and dyeing methods. Where appropriate the use of dyes on different fibres is discussed and the historical importance of each dyestuff is also covered. Although dyeing methods are given, these are generic explanations rather than recipes as such so would require some experience to replicate. Of particular interest is the consideration of future uses (both as dyes and otherwise) of the dyestuffs hopefully this will lead to a resurgence of interest in the use of natural dyes".

Hardback, 800 pages, 560 illustrations

Price: £95.00 [item code BK020]

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Natural Dyes - Sources, Tradition, Technology and Science by Dominique Cardon

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