Woad is a flowering plant called Isatis tinctoria, and it’s been used as a dye since Neolithic times. The chemical makeup of woad dye gives it the ability to produce blue pigments naturally without mixing or combining other colors. Woad has been used by early Neolithic cultures for body paint, cave paintings, clothing and fabrics among other things. It was used in ancient Egypt as well as the Roman Empire during the Middle Ages when it was introduced into Europe by traders coming from Asia.
Woad Comes from an Euro/Asian plant called Isatis tinctoria
Woad comes from an Euro/Asian plant called Isatis tinctoria, which is related to the broccoli family. It was used for dyeing by ancient civilizations to make blue jeans and other fabrics.
The use of woad as a dye actually goes back thousands of years before it was mined in Europe and Asia. The earliest known example of woad being used for clothing comes from 30,000 BCE when Neanderthal people buried their dead with linen textiles dyed with woad.
The Chemical Makeup Of Woad Dye
Woad is a natural blue dye that is extracted from the leaves and stems of the woad plant. Woad gives cloth, leather, or skin a blue-green color. The chemical makeup of woad dye consists of indigo and acid combinations. Indigo is what produces the blue color when mixed with an acid. It does not contain any metallic salts, unlike synthetic dyes which use metal salts to produce their colors.
Woad Is Naturally Blue
Woad is a naturally blue dye, and it doesn’t need to be mixed or combined with other colors in order to get the blue pigment. Woad produces an indigo color that can be used for textiles such as fabric, clothing, and yarns.
Woad was used by early Neolithic cultures for body paint, cave paintings, and clothing.
For thousands of years, woad was used by early Neolithic cultures for body paint, cave paintings and clothing. It was also used for other applications like painting and cosmetics. During this time period, it was the main source of blue dye in the world until indigo got introduced.
It was the ancient Greeks who first discovered how to produce a blue dye. They found that if the leaves of the woad plant were crushed and then fermented, they produced a blue color.
The Romans later adopted this process, but it wasn’t until medieval times that the much more expensive indigo plant was introduced into Europe from Asia. It quickly became popular because it produced a richer blue color than woad.
But woad was still used because it was cheaper and grew wild in many parts of Europe. It was also easier to dye wool with than indigo, which required more careful preparation before use.
Woad was used to dye all kinds of fabrics, including wool. It was also used for dying the leather for shoes and gloves. The color produced by woad was a rich blue-green hue that faded over time when exposed to sunlight or heat.
Woad and The Celts
Woad was used as a blue dye by the ancient Britons, who were one of the first groups to cultivate the crop commercially.
Celtic warriors used this dye to paint their faces in battle, which earned them the nickname “plaided men”. They also used woad as body paint, which was thought to make them invincible in battle because it made their skin impervious to most weapons.
Woad and ancient Egyptians
Woad was the source of blue dye for the Egyptian pharaohs and priests. Woad is a perennial plant that grows about knee high in Egypt. The leaves are harvested, dried and ground into a powder which is then mixed with water to create a paste. The paste is applied to cloth and left to dry in the sun. When it dries, it turns blue-green or blue depending on how much woad was added to the fabric before it was dyed.
The color blue was associated with royalty in ancient Egypt. The pharaohs wore blue crowns as well as their clothing, jewelry and furniture. Blue was also used on temples and tombs because it represented resurrection and rebirth.
Woad in ancient China
Woad was used to dye silk in ancient China.
Woad was grown as early as 5000 years ago in China, where it was used to dye fabrics blue. The Chinese also used woad for medicinal purposes and its leaves were added to meat dishes to improve their flavor.
Woad In The Roman Empire
During the Roman Empire, many people wore tunics made from fabrics dyed with woad. It was also used for other applications like painting and cosmetics. Woad was the main source of blue dye in the world until indigo got introduced.
Woad vs Indigo
Woad and indigo are both plants that have been used to produce blue dye. Woad was widely used by the ancient Celts, and it is still cultivated in some areas of Europe (mainly France) today. Indigo was first introduced to Europe from India during the Roman Empire, but it did not become widely used until the Middle Ages.
Indigo is a more recently developed dye than woad; however, it can produce more intense shades of blue than woad. In fact, indigo was used to create a range of blue colors that are now known as “ultra-violet” because they appeared black under regular lighting conditions
Woad has been used for centuries as a dye for clothing and other applications. It is a natural source of blue pigment that doesn’t need to be mixed or combined with other colors to get its unique shade. Woad has many uses, from body paint in ancient cultures to wax style batik dying in the Middle Ages.