This publication is intended to provide a quick overview of well-known dyestuffs that can be found in objects of cultural value in order to contribute to the knowledge of historic textiles and their preservation. Aimed mainly at conservators, conservation students, curators and textile historians, the book presents information on the most relevant dyestuffs used for dyeing textiles, the relation between dyestuffs and organic pigments in paintings and their historical relevance. Emphasis is placed on the combination of historical, technical and scientific knowledge and the way it can be used for the benefit of the conservation of historic textiles.
Until the early 1980s the identification of natural dyestuffs was developed and carried out using thin-layer chromatography (TLC) but the development of high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) opened up greater possibilities and over the past 30 years hundreds of historic textiles have been investigated using this technique. From many investigations carried out for individual museums and institutions, the author has chosen a number of case studies to illustrate both the possibilities and limitations of dyestuff analysis.