ROOT OF THE MADDER
"Old Loom Purple and Sol Linen Lavender are the latest colourways to feature in the Noble Souls upholstery collection, coloured with natural madder root. Purple has a distinguished past - it was once extremely rare and reserved only for royalty, but is also associated with being mystical, comforting and calming.
The dye’s rich and earthy purply-red colour comes from the madder plant (rubia tinctorum). The larger, older roots of the madder are dug up after 2 years, and are fermented to extract the dye. Historically, there is evidence of madder use as far back as 1500BC. The madder plant has been used to dye cloth by many civilisations from the Ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, to India and the Moors. Cloth dyed with madder root was found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, and in the ruins of Pompeii, while Indian hermits used it to create saffron robes, and the military red coats of the British Redcoats were originally dyed with madder. In 1804, the English dye maker George Field developed a technique to make it an insoluble dye, using alum.
Our craftspeople use age-old techniques during the dyeing process, which takes around 6-8 hours to complete. The intensity of colour is dependent on the amount of dye stuff used and the dyeing time.
Sol Linen Lavender is a soft, light purple with a slightly dusty look, while Old Loom Purple has a rich, deep aubergine hue that is warm and vibrant. Available on all Noble Souls upholstery.