It is an unusual form of dye, most readily applied to the clothes and other articles of everyday use in India, as a bright orange, which, if not carefully washed off, is liable to attract the attention of all. Its use also has the advantage of being cheap and abundant.
Many of the old English books of dyeing were produced in Persia in the seventeenth century, and one which deals with colouring sheep dung gave a number of recipes. The use of the method by this author gave excellent results—not only white but blue, green, and brown, without colouring the sheep, and an improved green as well, the result being so satisfactory that he considered it his duty to try other possible hues in the course of his enquiries. It is not surprising, then, that during his labours a number of such books were published, and that the process is now known to be the same in other countries. If in Persia these books were very rare, they were more or less accessible in Britain by an agent of the Silk Corporation, who was engaged as a professional printer with an office near the Bazaar.
The process of the silk manufacture is to heat the hues as described above, using very fine powders, and they are carefully formed into pucks and cones, which are applied in a small square tube to the wool, or woolen fiber, and the latter is washed with cold water once a fortnight. The wool itself is dried in the sun and exposed to the sun’s rays for two or three hours. Next the dyeing fluid is drawn out through a large hole into a large bucket, and the wool and fibers are removed, and the dyeing fluid, of course, is poured out on to the cloth. Now the dye is poured back with much difficulty, and the cloth is carefully stretched, the fibers being loosened from it, and the ends put away and the fabric put on the ground for drying. The fabric becomes dyed black, and may be made into a coarse material like the “jazz,” a dark woolen material, in the shape of a skirt, which is known in India as “shapuri,” a word which means “brown.”
It would seem that the process is generally the same both in Persia and in India, for many pages of the two books of the same author are devoted to methods of producing the various colours by the same procedure. The process is almost the same to use the two languages when describing the same process: the Persian is
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