Thursday, May 7, 2009

Color of the Day - Woad

Woad, 1667 – Woad is made of a Weed, fown upon ftrong new-broken Land, perfectly cleered from all ftones and weeds, cut feveral times by the top leaves, then ground, or rather chopt with a peculiar Mill for that purpofe; which being done feveral times, is made up in Balls and dryed in the Sun; the dryer the year is, the better the Woad. Englifh Woad is counted the ftrongeft, it is commonly tryed by ftaining of white Paper with it, or a white Limed wall, and if the Colour be a French-green it is good. … The making and ufing of Woad, is one of the moft myfterious, nice, and hazardous operations in Dying: It is one of the moft lafting Colours that is Dyed: An intenfe Woad Colour is almost black, that is to fay, of a Damfon-colour; this Colour is the foundation of fo many others in its degree, that the Dyers have a certain Scale, or number of Stalls, whereby to compute the lightnefs and deepneft of this Colour.
History of the Royal-Society of London, 1667

excerpt from:
Elephant's Breath and London Smoke
edited by Deb Salisbury
Available at

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