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Reproduction fabrics of 1750-1950

Ick Greens

Early 19th Century fabric printers needing to dye a solid green fabric or print a floral pattern requiring a green coloration had a problem. They did not have a single vegetable dye that could produce a colorfast green. In one method they printed the leaf or stem blue and overprinted it with yellow, or vice versa and called 'overdying' A second method involved penciling with indigo that contained a mordant for quercitron. A dip in the yellow quercitron dye bath produced a well registered green.

Prints that were green when purchased could change over time. The two dyes had different degrees of colorfastness. If the blue faded more quickly, the remaining green developed a yellow cast - called 'fugitive green.'

The chrome green fabrics of the 1840s were expensive. A Parisian artist, Adrian Guignet, patented a new cheaper chrome green in 1859.

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