Dyeing: Icelandic Oddysey article


@wheat , this was very interesting and a good read, Thank You for sharing the link. I’m a bit interested in Iceland b/c my DIL went and has invited me to go with her again, we’ll see. I like the story b/c it reminds me how we take color for granted in our garments, furnishings, etc. The history of dyes and spices that made the world a smaller place , yet people risked their lives crossing oceans and seas for. We’re so fortunate to have all these and so much more. I can only imagine how a little color brought into the dark ages would have been. It had to give them Joy and Hope! Thanks wheat.

I have often thought that one of the things that draws me to my “Food Crafting” is researching the ingredients. And sometimes trying to find out how “they got here” - where ever here happens to be.

@wheat - Very interesting article.

I wouldn’t think the colors depending on alkalinity would have been too popular. “For something alkaline, we used urine – any urine we could get. I stay away from the urine and use cleaning ammonia instead. It’s easy to get, cheap, and doesn’t smell as bad.” If you use urine to dye wool, the smell does not go away until the colour itself fades.”

There was some quasi historical fiction series I read where “American Indians” also collected urine - but let it sit until it “turned into” ammonia
and also the Celtic practice of waulking the wool also originally used urine as part of the process.

Not I will not sleep until I can remember which series - maybe Jean Auel’s clan of the cave bear -

I recently watched the first two seasons of Outlander and there was a scene with wool and urine. I looked it up and found this recap:

“The only thing that temporarily lifts her terrible mood is the encounter with the village women “walking wool” while singing a song meant to keep their rhythm. (The twenty-first century equivalent is, of course, exchanging misandry GIFs via IM.) The wool, by the way, is soaked in urine: “Hot piss? Yes, Claire. Sets the dye, first.” That’s what women do when you’re not around, gents. Drink hard liquor and treat our clothes with hot piss.”

I was fortunate to participate in a Waulking led by Norm Kennedy many years ago -
you might enjoy this clip. ( No not me in it)


Neat! I’m hoping they don’t still use urine.