A natural yellow dye extracted from the flowers, leaves and stems of the dyer's rocket plant, Reseda luteola. Weld has been used since Roman times and was widely cultivated in Europe during the Middle Ages. It was the most popular yellow dye until it was replaced by quercitron (18th c.) and by synthetic dyes (19th c.). The primary coloring matter in weld is luteolin; it is extracted in a hot alkaline solution made with boiling water and potash. Depending on the mordant, weld produces colors ranging from bright yellow (tin) to gold (aluminum) to green (iron). Although weld has the best lightfastness of any natural yellow, it still is not permanent. Weld was used to dye wool and silk, stain wood, and make lake pigments used in miniature paintings.
Synonyms and Related Terms
Reseda luteola; Natural Yellow 2; gaude (Fr.); Gelbkraut (Deut.); Erba guada (It.); gualda (Esp.); woude (Ned.); extract de gaude; wau; wanda; wold; woulds; arzica; gaude yellow; dyer's mignonette; lutum; wild woad; luteolin; dyer's rocket; dyer's weed; sawwort; yellow weed;
Luteolin is soluble in ethanol, hot water, ethyl ether, alkali solutions.
° J.Hofenk-de Graaf, Natural Dyestuffs: Origin, Chemical Constitution, Identification, Central Research Laboratory for Objects of Art and Science, Amsterdam, September 1969.
- Analytical strategies for natural dyestuffs in cultural heritage objects - EU-ARTECH European research project - http://www.organic-colorants.org
Sources Checked for Data in Record
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- Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
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- Art and Architecture Thesaurus Online, http://www.getty.edu/research/tools/vocabulary/aat/, J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles, 2000