The Plictho of Gioanventura Rosetti 1548

Work by Edelstein and Borghetti. (1969) has not only translated this "recipe" book of 16th century fibre and leather dyes, it has also done a great deal to interpret many of the medieval language around dyeing (and a few spelling mistakes!)

Below is a list of dyes that Edelstein and Borghetti note were available in 1548 Venice


Reds: Kermes, Polish cochineal, Lac, Brazilwood, Madder, Alkanet

Yellows: Weld, Broom, Fustic, Fenugreek, Saffron, Tumeric, Buckthorn

Blues: Indigo and Woad

Other: Verdigris, Pomegranate, Rue, Archil

Tannins: Gall, Black alder, Blackberry, Sumac (Redoul), Sage, Walnut

Mordants and modifiers used in the Plictho include

Alum, iron sulphates and oxides, copper sulfate, soda ash, and tartar

© 2018 L.Arnott