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Is light blue/green a medieval/historical good color?

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 8:57 pm
by Duvan
Like is it historically accurate for somebody, not for a nobleman only :), to have a woolen tunic made of a color like the one in the picture below in the Middle Ages (preferably pre 14th century).

It's sort of light blue/(green), quite close to white.

I also thought about making the neck line and the gussets from dark blue color (not indigo) but rather close to black... is that a bad historical idea too?

Posted: Thu Aug 07, 2008 10:58 pm
by fishwife
not a recognisable colour for the medieval period, turquoise was the impossible colour and that's what it looks like on my screen. Pastel blue is OK!
I guess if you're not using indigo you must be using woad - that's the correct blue for Europe, fraid there is no other choice! (However it is identical to Indigo in terms of chemical colourant)
Cheers,
Deb

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 8:13 am
by sally
I'm completely with fishwife on this one, it looks like a pale turquoise on my monitor too.

As a very rough rule of thumb with blues, if you can imagine 'proper' blue jeans in the shade you have, its likely to be ok. That denim blue in all its shades from ultra washed out to very dark blue is traditionally indigo and as such the same shade ranges that were achieveble then. Very very pale blue was widely available and is fine for all classes of people pretty much, the darker it gets, the more expensive it was to produce and it goes up the social scale.

Check with your group too what their policy on contrasting gussets is, it was a very popular fashion in re-enactment circles a few years ago but doesnt seem to be as common in the historic record as one might think (not saying it never occurs, just not as often as we used to see it as a reenactorism), some groups have decided fairly firmly against contrasting panels unless the garment is a copy of a known illustration etc.

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:22 pm
by Duvan
Thanks for the great answers. But one more (preferably quick because I'm in a hurry :()) would be very appreciated!

I went to the shop and took a picture of it just to be sure I can't use it...
It's looks more gray in the picture, and almost no green at all (and not much blue either) than it is in real life...
But I guess it's leaning towards turquoise if not quite that color...
?

If you look at the picture, there's some very dark red, almost a bit purple in it to the left... will that color do instead? Or is that a very noble color to afford?
Also, is a lighter red in the picture... actually I noticed that piece of cloth first after looking at the picture.
Will any of them do?

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 6:50 pm
by fishwife
Hi,
The red on the right looks most hopeful - difficult to be absolutely sure from the colours on screen. The colour on the left would definitely be a rch persons colour, it looks burgundy - ish to me, which would make it expensive.

Sorry if it seems unhelpful it is really difficult to be sure of tone and shade with a computer screen (well I think so anyway, have a dreadful job taking pictures of the real thing and it looking right!!!)

A bricky red is the best thing to go for, or a woad blue - any shade from pastel to navy blue, but on the jeans colour tones as Sally said.

Cheers,
Deb

Posted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 10:32 pm
by Colin MacDonald
I'm exposing my ignorance here, but is pale green achievable from lichen?

Is it that particular pale blend of green + blue[1] that's unachievable? Could it conceivably be done with a blend of dyes?

I ask because I have secured some pale mint green wool myself, which looked like a lichenable colour, but now I'm wondering if I'd be better off overdying it in a bolder colour.

Thanks in advance for your time, oh wise gurus of the mordant.

[1] That colour is CBFAF0, i.e. Red 79%, Green 98%, Blue 94%.

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:25 am
by Duvan
Thanks again.

I found the red cloth in a better picture. Here it is.

Also behind is to the right is some very dark blue... I don't know if you can call that dark navy blue?
Looked like this link:
http://www.lolli-reincarnation.com/imag ... 20silk.jpg

Would that one be any good or is it too dark to have been probable?


I really appreciate you using your knowledge to help me out here :)

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:02 am
by sally
Duvan wrote:Thanks again.

I found the red cloth in a better picture. Here it is.

Also behind is to the right is some very dark blue.


The red looks ok to me on the monitor at least, what you want is a 'bricky' tone to it not a 'fire engine' sort of red. the navy, is certainly possible, but very very high status. Basically, woad makes a lovely 'denim' blue shade that you make darker by repeat dyeings, so to have a dark navy you need to be able to afford to put the amount of dye that would have turned, say 10 lengths of fabric mid blue, all into one length of dark blue, and get it even at the same time, which was a really major skill. So its fine if you are portraying a high status person

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:04 am
by sally
Colin MacDonald wrote:I'm exposing my ignorance here, but is pale green achievable from lichen?

hmm, I've done some lichen dyeing but not huge amounts for conservation reasons. However, I've always had pale browns and rusty browns from a hot vat, and in fermentation vats, blues, violets and pinks. I've never personally seen mint green from lichens- but I'll try to check a book I have on lichen dying later and will see if it is referenced as a likely shade

Re: Is light blue/green a medieval/historical good color?

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:06 am
by Nigel
Duvan wrote:Like is it historically accurate for somebody, not for a nobleman only :), to have a woolen tunic made of a color like the one in the picture below in the Middle Ages (preferably pre 14th century).

It's sort of light blue/(green), quite close to white.

I also thought about making the neck line and the gussets from dark blue color (not indigo) but rather close to black... is that a bad historical idea too?


gussets in a differant colour ? Whats the evidence for thsi ?

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:18 am
by Duvan
I don't know if it's historically correct Nigel... just seen it on people's clothes :P

Anyway, is having different colored neck lines a bad idea too?
Like this:
http://home.swipnet.se/cybtex/sy/kjortel3.jpg

Thinking about making my neck either the dark blue or the dark red... but both are noble colors you say... hmm but maybe a soldier could afford just the neck line to be a noble color? :)

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:17 am
by Nigel
Duvan wrote:I don't know if it's historically correct Nigel... just seen it on people's clothes :P

Anyway, is having different colored neck lines a bad idea too?
Like this:
http://home.swipnet.se/cybtex/sy/kjortel3.jpg

Thinking about making my neck either the dark blue or the dark red... but both are noble colors you say... hmm but maybe a soldier could afford just the neck line to be a noble color? :)


Ok neck and cuffs etc no problem looks ggod

BUT gussets I ahve never seen any evidence for thsi especially in the 13th cnetury

If youa re doing 13th which groupa re you in btw ?

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:13 pm
by Duvan
I'm in no group. :)
Just on my own... the 13th century is just what interests me the most for some reason/s.

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 2:57 pm
by Nigel
Fair enough

but the evidence for this in this period is I think restricted to womens dresses

If you are interested in joining a group give us a ring

www.angevin.org


Nige

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:25 pm
by Colin MacDonald
sally wrote:I've never personally seen mint green from lichens- but I'll try to check a book I have on lichen dying later and will see if it is referenced as a likely shade


Oops, that'll teach me to believe everything I read on the intartubes. :oops:

Posted: Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:54 pm
by guthrie
Colin, I'm sure we've told you before, just because it is in a film, best selling books, and you can buy it in shops doesn't mean its historically accurate!

Posted: Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:21 am
by bournio
guthrie wrote:Colin, I'm sure we've told you before, just because it is in a film, best selling books, and you can buy it in shops doesn't mean its historically accurate!


Damn... There goes my Braveheart kit :( I worked so hard on getting it accurate too! :roll:

Posted: Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:38 am
by Drachelis
Coming in a bit late on this one but the colour they called "watchet" iis a pale blue green- not as vibrant as turquoise but stated as one of the colours worn in medieval times

Cherry
Shadowlight Designs

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 1:52 am
by Sophia
Beg to differ there Cherry - From my reading watchet is more of a sky blue than a green blue (I understand it was generally obtained from a woad dye bath), if grey blue it is then referred to as a sad watchet.

Sophia :D

Posted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:56 am
by Tuppence
Agreed - if obtained solely from woad, there'd be little chance of it ever getting the greeny tinge.

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:53 pm
by Colin MacDonald
guthrie wrote:Colin, I'm sure we've told you before, just because it is in a film, best selling books, and you can buy it in shops doesn't mean its historically accurate!


Fine, just as long as I can still use "I saw a reenactor wearing something vaguely similar under his string mail in 1992" as provenance. :P

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:04 pm
by Ariarnia
Tuppence wrote:Agreed - if obtained solely from woad, there'd be little chance of it ever getting the greeny tinge.


How does one make green then? (someone was telling me about urine and something making green wool, but I can't say I was very interested at the time and regret it now)

What aprox rank/shade would that make light/mid green?

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:17 pm
by sally
Ariarnia wrote:
Tuppence wrote:Agreed - if obtained solely from woad, there'd be little chance of it ever getting the greeny tinge.


How does one make green then? (someone was telling me about urine and something making green wool, but I can't say I was very interested at the time and regret it now)

What aprox rank/shade would that make light/mid green?

two principle ways, either overdye yellow with blue (or vice versa) this is how you get those Kendal or Lincoln greens, and if you use a common yellow such as weld or greenweed it neednt add significantly to cost beyond allowing for a two dyebath process, or you can alter a yellow dye using and iron or copper mordant. Iron tends to tip yellows towards the khaki, copper in my experience tends to give a slightly brighter green. I have also had a surprisingly vivid true grass green by mordanting weld (or whatever it was if it wasnt actually mordanting it!) with pig shit- which is a saga in itself, but it did undeniably give a clear green. not suggesting pig sh** was a common additive to dyes though.

So, green per se, no problem, the usual though, deeper, richer shades would have been tended to be much more expensive

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:34 pm
by Sophia
Ariarnia wrote:
Tuppence wrote:Agreed - if obtained solely from woad, there'd be little chance of it ever getting the greeny tinge.


How does one make green then? (someone was telling me about urine and something making green wool, but I can't say I was very interested at the time and regret it now)

What aprox rank/shade would that make light/mid green?


On the whole the lighter the shade the cheaper it is with the possible exception of Weld which is dirt cheap. This is doubley true if you are dyeing vegetable fibres (i.e. flax, hemp, cotton) as they are best described as dye hungry.

Woollen cloth also tends to be more expensive if it is dyed in the wool, i.e. prior to weaving, rather than in the piece, i.e. as part of the finishing process.

Patterned cloth, i.e. striped, checked, lampas or damask, is also more expensive regardless of colour as the weaving process is more complex.

Sophia :D

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 9:28 pm
by Ariarnia
So given reds have been described as 'bricky' and blues as 'denim' what colour ranges would be suggested for green?

You said grass colour (but possibly unauthentic method) so Grass green? Cucumber green? Tree green? Or lime green and ‘mint’ green? I want to post a colour range, but I know the comments that have been made about monitors...

Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:06 pm
by Sophia
For cheap greens think variations on khaki (Tudors called the colour produced by saddened weld (i.e. iron/copper vitriol added) gooseturd green) also any not overly strong colour that could be produced by mixing weld yellow (think slightly more goldern version of modern hi-vis yellow) and denim blues. Also get pale greens from box leaves and something a little duskier from sage leaves. All natural colours with the exception of weld which is eye blistering tend to be soft if you understand what I mean.

Best advice is to get hold of the lovely Moira Forsyth aka Phoebe of Tinctoria (http://www.livinghistoryfairs.com/traderscontacts.php) who does a very reasonably priced selection of naturally dyed swatches (on wool and silk) giving name of dye stuff and the mordant.

I would also recommend researching cloth values and colour names for your period (unfortunately I have only done research for C15th and C16th not for earlier) - this will give you a good idea of relative values of the different dyestuffs and fabric types.

You could also check out the back catalogue of "Textiles" which should be available through JStor at your university library for relevant stuff or alternatively check out dig reports for your period checking for textile finds (these are often checked for dyestuffs if the sample is large enough).

Sophia :D

Posted: Sun Aug 17, 2008 2:29 am
by Ariarnia
thank you.

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:08 pm
by Simon_Diment
*Deleted* site playing up and multi-posting

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:16 pm
by Simon_Diment
*Deleted as above* :evil:

Posted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:16 pm
by Simon_Diment
Ariarnia
PostPosted: Fri Aug 15, 2008 7:04 pm Post subject:
Tuppence wrote:
Agreed - if obtained solely from woad, there'd be little chance of it ever getting the greeny tinge.


How does one make green then? (someone was telling me about urine and something making green wool, but I can't say I was very interested at the time and regret it now)

What aprox rank/shade would that make light/mid green?


This sort of basic information regarding colours/ranks should already be supplied to you by your group leader and his authenticity team if you belong to a society that's been around for a while. If I remember correctly Guy said he'd been in Regia, they have a full list of colours and the ranks that they are most suitable for which has been circulated for years, if he doesn't already have the info I'd ask if he still has any contacts with them for a copy - it'll save you a lot of time.