Lecture: The Power and Limits of Textile Dye Analysis

Richard Laursen, professor emeritus, bioorganic and protein chemistry, Boston University

Join renowned chemist Richard Laursen as he describes methods for analyzing dyes in rugs and other textiles. Dye analysis can reveal certain information about textiles, and is particularly useful for characterizing primary colors (blue, red, and yellow, and their mixtures). In general, one can identify the type of dye used and sometimes the species of organism that produced it. Such information can give clues as to the geographical location where the textile was made. Dye analysis is not useful for dating textiles, except that the finding of synthetic dyes means that the object was produced or repaired after 1856, when the first synthetic dye was made. Laursen will illustrate this work with the results of analysis of textiles from various parts of the world dating from 1000 BCE to about 1900 CE.

A collaboration with the International Hajji Baba Society. Free; no reservations required.