A few receipts for dyeing on a small scale will be found very serviceable, especially when regular dyers are not at hand. The articles for the respective colors are merely given, as the depth of shade must be at the discretion of the operator. LILAC—Archil, a root to be bought at the druggists. The color, which is very power-iul, is extracted in boiling. NANKEEN—Boil equal quantities of Spanish arnatto and peailash in water till dissolved. BLUE—Indigo is generally used ; but, as its preparation is not so simple as others, it will be better to purchase a bottle of blue dye. YELLOW—Fustic chips, weld or dyer's weed tumeric, or Dutch pink. GREEN—May be produced by mixing the requisite portion of blue with either of the preceding. RED—Archil, madder, cochineal, and Brazil Wood are employed to give silk a bloom, else it is only used by itself when lilac is wanted. SCARLET—Silk cannot be dyed a full scarlet ; but a color approaching it may be giv.en to silk by first dyeing it in crimson, then dyeing it with carthamus, and lastly, yellow, without heat. BLACK—Logwood and green copperas are commonly used j but the color is improved by first boiling the article in a decoction of galls and alderbark. If previously dyed blue or brown, by means of walnut peels, it will be still better. [The above receipts are from the "Baltimore Sun," which would not publish, them unless it believed that it was conferring a benefit upon its readers; but unless the receipts are correct, they will assuredly do evil. They are not correct—but then such receipts are very common, and to be found in books professedly correct, and are calculated thereby to deceive the editors of our best newspapers who are not practical chemists. Let us explain and correct the above receipts. ARCHIL—This substance will dye a lilac on. filk; but not on cotton. It is not prepared as above—it is a litchen, and is steeped in urine and lime-water lor a month before it is fit to be used. A patent was granted on the 15th of June, 1852, to Leon Jarossons, of this city, for manufacturing archil. The color which it makes is beautiful, but will only stand exposure to the sun a very short time—it is one of the fugitive colors. NANKEEN—This is the name of the color; it is a peculiar buff. The way to make it is described correctly above, but as in the lilac receipt, the mode of dyeing the goods is not given. Annato dyes a poor fugitivebut beautiful color, and should never be used for that purpose, on any goods to be exposed to the sun, air, or that require washing. It dyes cotton and silk a buff, salmon, and orange. Acids redden it, alkalies strip off the color. BLUE—The bottle of blue dye spoken of must mean the extraat of indigo, or the sulphate ot indigo, neither of which will dye cotton. The urine blue vat, in the old farm houses for dyeing wool, is the only safe process for inexpeits to try. GREEN.—The fustic and blue spoken of above, will dye silk and wool, the former hot, the latter by boiling, the blue must be the sulphate of indigo. Yellow on cotton is dyed with the bichromate of potash, and the acetate, or nitrate of lead; or with yellow oak bark, and the sulpho-chloride of tin. RED —The receipt for red, above, does not tell how a red can be dyed on any kind of goods, for none of the substances mentioned will dye a red, without the use of a mordant madder, lac, cochineal, and Brazil wood, are used for dyeing red; cochineal will not dye a red on cotton, but it makes the most brilliant scarlet of any substance known, on silk and woolen goods. The chloride of tin and the cream of tartar are the mordants. It is a simple dye. Every good farmer's wife knows how to dye madder red. The mordant, used, is alum, with a little argil (impure tartar). It is not used for silks, only cotton and wool. The goods, must be well washed, out ol the alum liquor, before they are put k through the madder bath. BLACK—Let no person boil woolen goods in galls or alderbark prior to the logwood dye ; a very small quantity of galls is useful, but if too much are used the goods acquire a brown color. Cotton cannot be dyed a good black without being prepared with sumac, but woolen goods are dyed black by boiling them one hour first in a kettle containing some bichromate of potash, about two ounces to the pound of goods, then airing them, washing, and boiling in logwood, one pound at the rate of 5 oz to the poind ; or copperas can be used for the bichromate of potash, and is the old way, only a little fustic must be employed, or the color will not be a jet but a blue black.
This article was originally published with the title "Receipts for Dyeing" in Scientific American 8, 48, 384 (August 1853)