ANST - natural dyeing ... reds & purples

jhartel jhartel at
Wed Jul 1 03:53:13 PDT 1998

Just a bit more on Tyrean or "imperial" purple.  This info. I read from
Ann Hecht's book, THE ART OF THE LOOM-Weaving Spinning and Dyeing across
the world. [ISBN 0-8478-1147-6] This a a GORGEOUS book with lots of good

  Tyrean is a colorless dye excreted from a gland of the purpura
shellfish.  The dye is actually colorless and relies on oxygen and
sunlight to gain it's full color.  In this way it is similar to Indigo. 
Huge amounts of discarded shells can be seen along the Mediterannean
coast, showing where large dying centers used to be located.  The
purpura shellfish is also known along the coasts of South and Central
America.  Here the people blow on the gland causing the excretion of the
dye, thus harming no shellfish.

For a more in depthe study of imperial purple check out K.G.Ponting's A

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