Author's Final Manuscript
The Textile Museum Journal
This article reports on an analysis of the dyes used in painted cotton textiles from seventeenth- and eighteenth-century India in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The purpose of our study was to identify which red dyes were used to produce the textiles, and to determine whether dyers used cheaper substitutes for indigo as dyestuffs. Our findings preliminarily suggest that chay root (Oldenlandia umbellata L.) was not only a dye material used along the Coromandel Coast, but also traveled through overland trade networks for textile dyeing in central India. The results of this analysis contribute to understandings of regional specializations in dyestuffs. More broadly, this study may provide evidence for the mobility of dye materials and the agency that South Asian dyers had to choose their dye materials.
Houghteling, Sylvia and Nobuko Shibayama. 2019. “Tools of the Master Dyer: Dye Materials in 17th and 18th Century South Asian Painted Cotton Textiles at the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” The Textile Museum Journal 46: 10-25.