About the Antique Rugs of the Future Project
Sheep Breeds of Azerbaijan
Shearing, Sorting, Washing, Carding, Spinning
"The advantages of handspun yarn to machine spun yarn"
Rediscovery of Ancient Natural Dyes
Our Natural Dyestuffs
Difference between synthetically and naturally dyed rugs
Weaving and Finishing Steps
Galleries of ARFP Caucasian Azerbaijani Rugs
boyaq otu, qızıl boya
|kök boya, kızılkök
|ريشه روناس ، روناس ، با روناس رنگ زدن.
|Rubia tinctorum L.
Madder, once the most valuable dye plant in Azerbaijan and the world. It is found (as Rubia tinctorum L) in Azerbaijan in the Greater Caucasian Mountains, in Absheron peninsular, in Kur (Kura)-Araz (Aras), Lenkaran (Lenkoran) lowlands, in Ganykh-Agrichay valley, also in Nakhchyvan. It is common at the foot of mountains, on riversides, along the fences in villages and also in weedy areas. There is also another kind of madder growing in Azerbaijan, which is called Rubia iberica Fisch.
Madder is a low creeping plant that will cover an area of ground quite quickly. It does not need a great deal of looking after apart from the occasional weeding. The plant matures at 5 years old. The flowers are small and yellow/green in colour. The berries are dark when ripe and can be used as seed stock to multiply the crop.
All parts of
the madder plant contain dye substance the pigment, alizarin (The
word alizarin ultimately derives from the Arabic al-usara,
juice), but the roots
have the largest concentration. The plant should be pulled from the ground
after loosening the soil. The leaves can then be stripped of the plant and
the roots put in a sheltered place to dry out. At least two years old dried
roots should be used. When the roots are dry, it is
ground up into a powder. The powder produced bright red color if it is
soaked overnight, then steeped briefly at around 65 degrees centigrade
(150°F). It also yields the so-called "second red," which is the color of
cantaloupe flesh. For the first red, the wet, mordanted yarn is gently
"cooked" below a simmer till the dyer sees the color he wants; then it is
carefully rinsed in water containing oak ash - whose alkalinity brightens
the color - and dried. The dye is fixed to the cloth with help of a mordants.
Dyeing without any mordant will give us brownish brick red color.
Mordants >> Colors
Madder. Rubia tinctorum L
Dried madder roots
Chopped madder roots
Madder use in history
Gaius Plinius Secundus ( Pliny the Elder) (23 AD to August 24, 79 AD)-ancient author, natural philosopher and naval and military commander
Madder Root with Chrome Mordant
kilo of wool requires the same weight of madder root, 8 tablespoons of tartaric
acid and one cup of dye salts. The wool is scoured and mordanted with chrome.
The madder roots arc cut into 2 cm (¾") chips,
covered with 33 litres (7 ¼ gallons) of wafer and soaked for twelve hours until
the roots absorb the water and swell a little. After soaking, 4 ½ litres (one
gallon) of water are added and boiled for forty five minutes, cooled and the
roots removed. The damp wool is added to the dye bath and simmered for half an
hour; less time is necessary if lighter shades are required. A solution of
tartaric acid and dye salts in one litre (1 ¾ pints) of water is added to the
dye bath, simmered for a further half hour, after which time the wool is cooled
and rinsed, wrung out and left to dry in the shade.