Dyes and Dyeing Methods in Late Iron Age Finland PDF by Krista Vajanto

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Dyes and Dyeing Methods in Late Iron Age Finland
By Krista Vajanto
Dyes and Dyeing Methods in Late Iron Age Finland

Contents

1. Introduction.............................................................................................. 10
1.1. Research questions........................................................................10
1.2. Context and chronology..............................................................11
1.3. A brief research history.....................................................................13
1.3.1. In Finland..............................................................................................13
1.3.2. In Europe................................................................................................14
1.4. Natural dyes – an overview..........................................................15
1.4.1. Tannins.............................................................................................15
1.4.2. Direct dyes...........................................................................................................................16
1.4.3. Mordant dyes......................................................................................................................16
1.4.4. Vat dyes for indigoids...........................................................................................................18
1.4.5. Lichen dyes..........................................................................................................................18
1.5. Textile archaeological background..............................................................................................19
1.5.1. Fibres...................................................................................................................................19
1.5.2. Yarn......................................................................................................................................22
1.5.3. Loom weaving......................................................................................................................23
1.5.4. Tablet weaving.....................................................................................................................25
1.5.5. Nålbinding...........................................................................................................................25
1.5.6. Braiding and plaiting............................................................................................................26
1.5.7. Shawl cloak..........................................................................................................................26
1.5.8. Dress....................................................................................................................................26
1.5.9. Apron...................................................................................................................................27
2. Theoretical framework............................................................................................................... 27
2.1. Definition of textile.....................................................................................................................27
2.2. Experimental archaeology..........................................................................................................28
2.3. Ethnographic analogy..................................................................................................................29
3. Research materials..................................................................................................................... 30
3.1. Archaeological samples...............................................................................................................30
3.2. Reference dyeings.......................................................................................................................31
3.3. Folklore sources and traditional dyeing .....................................................................................32
3.3.1. Tannin dyes..........................................................................................................................32
3.3.2. Weeds from the fields and forests.......................................................................................33
3.3.3. Mordants.............................................................................................................................33
3.3.4. Lichens and mushrooms......................................................................................................34
3.3.5. Dyeing equipment...............................................................................................................35
4. Analytical methods..................................................................................................................... 36
4.1. Microscopic observation.............................................................................................................36
4.2. Chromatographic analyses..........................................................................................................36
4.3. Element analyses........................................................................................................................37
4.4. Experimental archaeology..........................................................................................................38
5. Results of the analyses............................................................................................................... 41
5.1. Microscopy..................................................................................................................................41
5.2. Chromatography.........................................................................................................................42
5.2.1. Dyestuffs in the archaeological finds...................................................................................42
5.2.2. Dyestuffs in the reference yarns .........................................................................................43
5.3. Dye experiments.........................................................................................................................44
5.4. Elements.....................................................................................................................................47
6. Discussion of colourants, mordants and dyeing methods............................................................ 49
6.1. Fermented tannins......................................................................................................................49
6.2. Red anthraquinones....................................................................................................................51
6.3. Yellow flavonoids.........................................................................................................................52
6.4. Mordants.....................................................................................................................................54
6.5. Woad colorants...........................................................................................................................56
6.5.1. Woad flavonoids..................................................................................................................56
6.5.2 Indigoids for blue and black..................................................................................................57
6.6. Lichen purple..............................................................................................................................59
6.7. Reference dyeings ......................................................................................................................60
7. Conclusions................................................................................................................................ 62
Sources.......................................................................................................................................... 64
Archive sources..................................................................................................................................64
Bibliography.......................................................................................................................................64
Appendix 1: Summary of Papers I–V..................................................................................................83
Appendix 2: Archaeological samples..................................................................................................88
Appendix 3: HPLC spectra of the archaeological Samples 1a–5c.......................................................94
Appendix 4: UHPLC and HPLC spectra of the archaeological Samples 8–16b....................................97
Appendix 5: HPLC results of the reference dyeings.........................................................................102
Appendix 6: SEM-EDX results of the archaeological and reference samples...................................107
Appendix 7: Costume reconstructions based on Finnish Late Iron Age finds..................................112

List of Figures

Figure 1. Broken remains of a possible human body lice from Luistari grave 56.
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................12
Figure 2. Map of the sites of the archaeological samples. (Drawing: K. Vajanto).....................................................12
Figure 3. Wool of modern Finnsheep. (K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)................................19
Figure 4. Degraded outer coat hairs and underwool from Kaarina Kirkkomäki grave 27,
KM 27025:H27:235 (Sample 13). (K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University).......................................19
Figure 5. Wool fibres from Lapuri shipwreck SMM 2592:8
with medullated outer coat hairs and fine underwool fibres (Sample 16a).
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................20
Figure 6. Degraded, dyed wool fibres from Luistari, KM 18000:1702 (Sample 1b).
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................20
Figure 7. Finnish stinging nettle (Urtica dioica), modern reference. Dislocations visible.
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................21
Figure 8. Wool fibre on the left and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) on the right from
Luistari 56’s nålbinding textile KM 18000:1702.
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................21
Figure 9. Barbs of rosebay willowherb (Epilobium angustifolium).
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................21
Figure 10. Barbs of hare’s-tail cotton-grass (Eriophorum vaginatum).
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................21
Figure 11. The s-spun and Zs-plied yarn and z-spun and Sz plied yarn (Drawing: K. Vajanto)..................................22
Figure 12. Spinning angles of 20°, 45° and 60° in a z-spun yarn. (Drawing: K. Vajanto)...........................................23
Figure 13. Sz-plied yarn with a ply angle of 45°. (Drawing: K. Vajanto)....................................................................23
Figure 14. Tabby weave (Plain weave). (Drawing: K. Vajanto)..................................................................................24
Figure 15. Half-basket weave. (Drawing: K. Vajanto)................................................................................................24
Figure 16. 2/2 twill. (Drawing: K. Vajanto)................................................................................................................ 24
Figure 17. 1/2 twill. (Drawing: K. Vajanto)................................................................................................................ 24
Figure 18. Wool dyed with leaves of silver birch (Betula pendula, Ref. 18)
and alum mordant; probable mordant particles apparent at fibre surface.
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................39
Figure 19. Plant mordanted/dyed yarns (J. Markkanen)..........................................................................................40
Figure 20. Undyed parts in the yarn from the Luistari grave 95 twill KM 18000:2071
(Samples 2a–2b). (J. Markkanen)............................................................................................................................. 41
Figure 21. Textile fragment KM 12690:168 from Rikala (Samples 4a–d),
woven with differently coloured bluish yarns. (K. Vajanto)......................................................................................41
Figure 22. Very even blue colour in the yarns from fragment KM 2912:53 (Sample 8).
(J. Markkanen)................................................................ 42
Figure 23. Striped half-basket weave and tabby found in the Tuukkala KM 9770:5 fragment
(Samples 5a–c). (K. Vajanto)..................................................................................................................................... 42
Figure 24. Wool fibres with “glued” scales in yarn dyed with alder buckthorn
(Rhamnus frangula, Ref. 37) in a fermentation bath.
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University.)...........................................................................................45
Figure 25. Wool fibres with “polished” scales in yarn dyed with rock tripe
(Lasallia pustulata, Ref. 51) in urine bath. (K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)..........................45
Figure 26. Alum mordanted and boiled yarn dyed with the Dyer’s madder (Rubia tinctorum);
opened scales visible. (K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University.)........................................................45
Figure 27. A yarn dyed with rock tripe (Lasallia pustulata, Ref. 51). (J. Markkanen)............................................... 46
Figure 28. Wool yarns mordanted/dyed with plant mordants and tropical indigo
(Indigofera tinctoria). (J. Markkanen)............................................................... 47
Figure 29. Fibres of Kaarina Kirkkomäki find KM 27025:H27:237 (Sample 14) preserved inside
a layer of iron (Fe) and phosphor (P). (K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)................................48
Figure 30. Fibres covered with iron (Fe) and calcium (Ca), in the fragment SMM 1657,
342006:16 (Sample 17) from Egelskär. (K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)...............................48
Figure 31. Fibres heavily covered with iron (Fe), in a fragment from Lapuri SMM 2592:8
(Sample 16a). (K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University).....................................................................48
Figure 32. Stiff clubmoss (Lycopodium annotinum, Ref. 47) mordanted wool fibre.
Aluminium (Al), silicon (Si) and potassium (K) particles are visible all over the fibre surface.
(K. Vajanto, Nanomicroscopy Centre Aalto University)............................................................................................48
Figure 33. Spirals bordering a replica of a Late Iron Age apron. (M. Pasanen).........................................................55
Figure 34. Yarns dyed with logwood (Haematoxylum campechianum) with different mordants
(J. Markkanen).......................................................................................................... 56

Abstract
This dissertation is about Late Iron Age (AD 800–1055/1300) woollen, visually colourful textile fragments.

The aim is to identify the dyeing methods used in Finland during the Late Iron Age and to find the locally used dyestuffs. This dissertation focuses on the archaeological samples from inhumation burials and shipwrecks, which were analysed with visual analysis and microscopy observation. The reference material includes woollen yarns dyed with Finnish traditionally known dye sources.

The archaeological samples and the dyed references were analysed chromatographically at the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE) and at the Royal Institute for Cultural Heritage (KIK-IRPA) in Belgium by HPLC (High performance liquid chromatography) and UHPLC (Ultra High performance liquid chromatography). Mordants were analysed at the Nanomicroscopy Center of Aalto University in Finland by SEM-EDX (Scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy). Experimental archaeology was used to reconstruct the actual dyeing methods of red tannins, lichen orchil and plant mordants as well as to test the sustainability of these dyes and the effect of dyeing methods on wool yarns.

The results suggest that three different dyeing methods were used in Late Iron Age Finland: vat dyeing, mordant dyeing and fermentation of tannins. Red tannins were obtained from tree barks such as alder buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula) and roots of common tormentil (Potentilla erecta). Red anthraquinones were obtained from local bedstraws (Galium boreale, Galium album and Galium verum). Mordants for dyes were prepared by fermenting clubmosses (Lycopodium species) and horsetails (Equisetum silvaticum and Equisetum arvense). Eagles’ fern (Pteridium aquilinum), common chickweed (Stellaria media) and red sorrel (Rumex acetosella) were also used in mordanting. Woad (Isatis tinctoria) was used for blue dyeing. Purple was obtained from orchil producing lichens such as rock tripe (Lasallia pustulata). Dyer’s madder (Rubia tinctorum) and the yellow flavonoid dyes such as weld (Reseda luteola) were interpreted to indicate textile import.

The Middle Ages offered new meanings for life and textile making, new handicraft methods and new dyestuffs, which ended the local prehistoric dyeing tradition. As a result of new cultural influences, red tannins were no longer used to strengthen yarns for warp-weighted loom nor were the blackish-blue and purple textiles dyed in vats in the Late Iron Age manner. The medieval culture provided a faster textile making process and offered horizontal looms and spinning wheels, the boiling method, alum and new dyestuffs.
 
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