Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Rare Medieval Blue Ink

From Ancient Origins:
Portuguese researchers believe that they have identified the long-lost process and plant that provided a unique purple-blue pigment in the Middle Ages . This was used to color many things including cloths, but it was particularly used in illuminated manuscripts, which were masterpieces of the medieval world. The experts were able to recreate the medieval blue ink based on a book written in an extinct language.

The pigment was known as folium and it was famous for its hue and its long-lasting properties. Science News reports that “long-lasting blues are relatively rare among dyes,” and this made folium so prized in the Middle Ages. This blue hue is not like the indigo still widely in use, or those pigments produced from some types of flowers. Atlas Obscura reports that this distinctive blue dye was “responsible for coloring everything from Bible scenes to, later, the rind of a popular Dutch cheese.” (Read more.)

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