As a sign of social status or a personality statement, colors in clothing have been used since time immemorial. The textile fiber is washed and mordanted, then dyed in a vat made by soaking various parts of plants called tinctorial for their colouring properties. Chemical dyes, nowadays, have largely replaced natural ones, but these plants are still around for everyone who wants to try their hand and explore the fascinating world of natural colours.
WHAT ABOUT BACK THEN ?
Ancient Northmen loved colourful clothing, a sign of wealth and prestige. Favourite colours vary from place to place, but certain natural dyes on wool are proven, such as madder, woad or indigo some lichen, northern bedstraw or common walnut. Yellow, that was mainly used in combination for secondary colours such as green, came from a still unidentified plant. Common plants for yellow include onion, weld, dyer's broom and heather. Silk was imported and often dyed with foreign colouring substances like cochineal or other plants like weld. Linen was used as is or bleached with ashes. Some rare finds from Birka prove that it could also be dyed with madder or woad.