Woad References


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European History
Woad in the Neolithic in a cavern at Adaouste, Bouches-du-Rhône

History of textiles
By the later Stone Age the art of using vegetable dyes from the arbutus plant and from elderberries was discovered, and by the Bronze Age even more complex dyeing operations such as the application of woad had been introduced.

History of Erfurt

British History
M Van der Veen, J May & A R Hall “Woad and the Britons painted blue”
Oxford J Archaeol, 12(3), 1993, 367–371, figs, refs. ISSN 0262-5253,
In the light of recent articles questioning whether the blue pigment used by the ancient Britons was actually woad or not (see also 92/96 & 93/1060), the discovery of waterlogged remains of woad at Dragonby (Humbs) continues

‘The City of Coventry: Crafts and industries: Medieval industry and trade', A History of the County of Warwick: Volume 8: The City of Coventry and Borough of Warwick (1969), pp. 151-157. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=16024
The chief commodity imported into Coventry through Southampton from the late 1420s to 1478 was woad for dyeing Coventry blue cloth. (fn. 75) Woad was also imported through Bristol, with alum, wax, wine, and iron and other metal goods. (fn. 76)
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RS Smith (1961). A woad growing project at Wollaton in the 1580s. Trans Thoroton Soc Notts, vol. 65: 27-46. [TMT collection)]

BM Baggs (1977). Woad accounts for the manor of Chesterton 1638-1641. Dugdale Soc Publications Vol 31: pp 1-14. [manor held by Sir Edward Peyton]. [TMT collection)]
Describes woad production in the 1600s as well as transcription of accounts. Land was woaded only very 14 years.

Walter Blith (1652) The English Improver Improved. [referred to in Baggs].

Woad production
Harold Stanhope (1971). The woad industry in Britain. Occupational Health. Dec 1971 pp. 388-391. [TMT collection)].
Historical account mainly with reference to Lincolnshire & Cambridgeshire.

Jane Brace (1999). An Ancient Blue Dye, a history of the supply and production of woad.

Joan Thirsk (2000) Alternative Agriculture: A History: From the Black Death to the Present Day. Oxford University Press 384 pages ISBN 0198208138. http://books.google.com/books?id=f8jZ48XKBSMC
People like to believe in a past golden age of "traditional" English countryside, before large farms, machinery, and the destruction of hedgerows changed the landscape forever. Yet crops from the past like flax, hemp, rapeseed, and woad are gradually reappearing in the "modern" countryside. Thirsk reveals how the forces which drive the current interest in alternative forms of agriculture--a glut of mainstream meat and cereal crops, changing patterns of diet, the needs of medicine--have striking parallels with earlier periods of English history, emphasizing that solutions to current problems can still be found in the hard-won experience of people in the past.

Woad Mills
Model of the woad mill at Parson Drove c 1900

CE Hennels (1972). East Anglia’s last woad mill. East Anglian Magazine vol 31 (12) October 1972 pp. 498-501. [Parsons Grove mill with 7 photos from Wisbech Museum [TMT collection)].
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Penelope Walton Rogers “Textile Production at 16-22 Coppergate”, The Archaeology of York series vol 17/11, York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research Ltd

H K Kenward and A R Hall, “Biological Evidence from 16-22 Coppergate” The Archaeology of York series vol xxx, York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research Ltd

I wouldn\'t describe it as a dye shop, but it is correct that we have found evidence for textile manufacture and dyestuffs. The data is presented in a publication by Penelope Walton Rogers entitled “Textile Production at 16-22 Coppergate”, which is volume 17/11 in The Archaeology of York series. Woad is also mentioned in another publication in the same series, by H K Kenward and A R Hall, entitled Biological Evidence from 16-22 Coppergate. This latter is still in print; the former is out of print, and so available through good libraries. Details of what > we have published are on our web site at the address below.

Dr Richard Hall FSA, MIFA, Director of Archaeology, Tel:[01904] 663005. Fax:[01904] 663024 email:rhall@yorkarchaeology.co.uk Web: www.yorkarchaeology.co.uk York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research Ltd
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Chemical Method using Spectralite (thiox)


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