Fiber - Dyes - Textile History from Straw Into Gold

Application of Dyestuffs
To Textiles, Paper, Leather and Other Materials

by J. Merritt Matthews, Ph.D.
Published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York and in London by Chapman & Hall.

Excerpts will be published here from various sections. I have had a copy of this book in my personal library for 30 years and it was invaluable in preparing for teaching the dye theory and dye history classes I taught in the 1970s and 80s.


The book is out of copyright and is from a fascinating period in the history of dyes. By 1920 many synthetic dyes were in use, machinery for dyeing in "modern dyehouses" was being developed - BUT - the old natural dyes and mordants and mineral dyes were also still in use. You will read references to the fact that Logwood, Fustic and other dyes were still being used. Recipes for indigo were still important enough to publish in this book. "Craft Dyers" were mentioned and recognized as having a place.

I'm scanning sections of this book and will add them as I have time. I hope you find the information interesting and useful. I know that I did!

Susan C. Druding
September 2001 - project begun

[Note that I have moved footnotes up into the text inside brackets directly after the point where they were marked in the original book. This seemed the easiest solution to the lack of page bottoms in moving the text sections to the Web.]

Sections Available are shown with underlined links:


1. General Definitions
2. Historical
3. Dyes of Antiquity Compared with Modern Dyes
4. Apparatus and Equipment for Dye-Testing
5. Practical Process of Dyeing
6. Water and Steam in the Dyehouse
7. Forms in Which Textiles are Dyed
8. Hydro-extracting and Drying
9. After-treatment of Dyed Material