British Museum, 1998
Jenny Balfour-Paul is a renowned authority on indigo; she has published and lectured on the subject for 20 years. In this book she explores the fascinating history of the cultivation of the plant and its uses, particularly as a dye. Indigo has been used to dye textiles from ancient times. There is archaeological evidence of its use in ancient Egypt, Babylon, all over Asia, Central and South America, Europe and Africa. The plants, belonging to the Indigofera family, are the only natural source of blue dye.
This book also considers the various methods for extracting dye from the plant and methods of dyeing worldwide, methods often unchanged and still used today. Also covered are
patterning techniques using indigo and its use in art, health and folklore.
There are two more recent editions of this book, published in 2006 and 2011.
DYEMAKING WITH EUCALYPTS
Jean K. Carman
Sadly, now out of print, this book is a very handy reference book for the use of Australian eucalypts for making dyes. It is a result of experiments that the author, herself, carried out, beginning with using the trees on her own property. The book has chapters on species of eucalypts from each state of Australia and Papua New Guinea, where they can be found, and the colours that may be obtained from leaves, wood or bark. The author also discusses methods, equipment and preparation of the materials to be dyed.
Helpfully, she also includes a list of species organised by the colour obtained, a list of eucalypts native to more than one state and an index of species tested.Eucalypts can produce a vast array of colours – shades of red, tan, orange, brown, grey, green, yellow.