A dye containing the coloring agent indigotin, which produces a blue color. Indigotin is found in the leaves of several species of plants native to and utilized in different parts of the world. Indigotin was first synthesized in the late-19th century.


A fabric made of loose, haphazardly arranged wool fibers, which have surface scales that stick to each other as a result of the felt-making process. In Central Asia, nomadic peoples live in circular tents called yurts, the roofs and walls of which are covered in felt.


A process through which molecules imparting color are chemically bonded to fibers. The fibers may be un-spun, or in the form of yarns or fabrics, during the dyeing process.

Synthetic dye

Dye in which the coloring agent is chemically manufactured. The first synthetic dyes were developed in the mid-19th century, and many types have been invented since then. A few of the compounds synthesized are the same as those found in natural sources (for example, indigo). Synthetic dyes are much easier to use and give the…

Natural Dye

Dye in which the coloring agent is extracted from plant, animal, or mineral matter. The most common natural dyes are found in plants, but certain insects produce a red dye and certain shellfish produce a purple dye. Rust is an ancient mineral dye.


A method of preparing fibers for spinning. Fibers are aligned by drawing them through the teeth of a single large comb or transferring them between two combs. The process also separates longer fibers from shorter ones. Yarns spun from combed wool are smoother and stronger than yarns from carded wool, and are known as “worsted.”


A method of preparing fibers for spinning. It is used to even out the density of short fibers, most often wool, by laying them on the teeth of a wire brush (called a card) and scraping them with another matching wire brush. Cards with metal teeth are first recorded in Europe in the 13th century….