Dwelly-d Faclair Dwelly air loidhne Dwelly's Gaelic Dictionary Online

dath

-a, -an [& -aithean,] sm Colour, stain, dye, tincture. 2 Colouring, appearance. Cha luidh dath air dubh, luidhidh dubh air gach dath, black materials will not dye a colour, but any colour will take black; do ghruaidh air dath na céire, thy cheeks coloured like red wax; dath bréige, a false dye; dathan eug-samhail, various colours.
The following are the principal native vegetable dyes used in Gaeldom, with the colours they produce. Several of the tints are very bright and pretty, but have now, unfortunately, in many cases been superseded by foreign mineral dyes.
Claret
— corcar — a lichen scraped from the rocks and steeped in urine three months, then taken out, made into cakes and hung in bags to dry. When used, these cakes are reduced to powder and the colour fixed with alum.
Black
(finest) — Common dock root with copperas. 2 Darach, oak bark and acorns, with copperas. 3 (or grey) Seilistear, iris root. 4 Sgitheach, hawthorn bark with copperas. 5 Alder bark with copperas. 6 (bluish) Common sloe (prunus spinosa), preas nan àirneag. 7 (bluish) Red bearberry (arbutus uva ursi), gràinnseag.
Blue — blaeberry, with alum or copperas. 2 Elder, with alum. 3 Ailleann, elecampane.
Brown —
Common yellow wall-lichen (parmelia parietina). 2 Dark cnotal (parmelia cetarophilla). 3 Duileasg, dulse — kind of seaweed. 4 Currant with alum. 6 Darach (oak) bark or berries of craobh an dromain, elder. 6 (Dark chestnut) Roots of rabhagach, white waterlily. 7 (Dark) Blaeberry with nut-galls. 8 (Reddish) The dark purple lichen, 'cen cerig cen du' — (gun chéire gun dubh) — neither crimson nor black) treated in the same manner as the lichen for claret dye. 9 (Philamot) — yellowish (dead leaf coloured) cnotal (parmelia saxatilis).
Drab
or Fawn, — Birch bark (betula alba).
Green —
Ripe privet berries with salt. 2 Wild mignonette (reseda luteola), lus buidhe mór, with indigo. 3 Rùsg conaisg, whin bark. 4 Cow-weed. 5 (Lively) Common broom. 6 (Dark) Heather (erica cinerea), fraoch bhadain, with alum. The heather must be pulled before flowering and from a dark shady place. 7 Iris leaf, Duilleag seilisteir.
Magenta —
Dandelion (contodon taraxacum), beàrnan Brìde.
Orange
— Ragweed, stinking Willie (senecio iacobaea), buaghallan. 2 Barberry root (berberis vulgaris), barbrag. 3 (dark) — Bramble (rubus fruticosus), preas smeur.
Purple
— Euonymous (spindle-tree), with sal-ammoniac. 2 Sundew (drosera rotundifolia), lus na feàrnaich. 3 Blaeberry (vaccinium myrtillis), with alum.
Red
— Tormentil (potentilla tormentilla), lean-artach. 2 Rock-lichen (ramalina siliquosa), cnotal. 3 White cnotal (lecanora palescens), cnotal geal. 4 (fine) —Rue (gallium virum), ladies' bedstraw. A very fine red is obtained from this. Strip the bark off the roots, then boil them in water to extract the remainder of the virtue, then take the roots out and put the bark in and boil that and the yarn together, adding alum to fix the colour. Gallium boreale treated in the same way also produces a red dye. 5 (purple) — Blaeberry (vaccinium myrtillis), lus nan dearc, with alum, verdigris and sal-ammoniac. 6 (crimson) — cnotal corcar (lecanora tartarea), white and ground and mixed with urine. This was once in great favour for producing a bright crimson dye. 7 (scarlet) — limestone lichen (urceolaria calcaria), cnotal clach-aoil. Used by the peasantry in limestone districts, as Shetland. 8 (scarlet) Ripe privet berries with salt.
Violet
— Wild cress (nasturtium officinalis) — biolair. 2 Bitter vetch (orobus tuberosus) — cairmeal. 3 Bilberries fixed with alum.
Yellow
— Apple-tree, ash and buckthorn. 2 Poplar and elm. 3 Roid, bog-myrtle. 4 Ash roots. 5 Teazle (dipsacus sylvestris) — lus an fhùcadair or leadan. 6 Raineach mhór, bracken roots. 7 Cow-weed. 8 Tops and flowers of fraoch, heather. 9 Wild mignonette (reseda luteola), dried, reduced to powder and boiled. 10 Leaves and twigs of beithe beag, dwarf birch. 11 (bright) Sundew with ammonia (drosera rotundifolia) — lus na feàrnaich. 12 (Weft) Achlasan Chalum Chille, St. John's wort, fixed with alum. 13 (dirty) Peat soot. 14 Rhubarb, (monk's) (rymex alpinus) lus na purgaid.
The process employed is to wash the thread thoroughly in urine long kept (fual), rinse and wash in pure water, then put into the boiling pot of dye which is kept boiling hard on the fire. The thread is lifted now and again on the end of a stick and again plunged in until it is all thoroughly dyed. If blue, the thread is then washed in salt water, but any other colour in fresh.


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