Dina Kraft has written a really interesting article in the New York Times about the discovery of a 2,000-year-old textile thought to be an example of tekhelet blue. While tekhelet blue is usually thought to be sky-blue, this new research suggests that it is in fact a bluish-purple.
The whole article is worth a read, but I especially liked the quote from Dr. Zvi Koren, the researcher who discovered the dye; in addressing the change of symbolism this colour-shift might indicate, he said, “It’s not the color of the sky as we know it; it’s the color of sky at midnight. It’s when you are all alone at night that you reach out to God, and that is what tekhelet reminds you of.”
You can read the whole article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/28/world/middleeast/28blue.html
5 thoughts on “Tekhelet blue”
Thanks Symeon for your kind words. A full article will appear in the near future and will update you.
All the best,
I very much look forward to reading the full article. I’m currently writing my dissertation on natural earth colours and their characteristics beyond hue (mythological, cultural, etc.); your work has given another aspect to consider in my thinking. Thank you.
I was alerted to this article which I found fascinating.
I am a fashion/textile designer from the UK working with natural dyes in contemporary fashion.
Currently, I am experimenting with Mayan Blue, a rare form of Indigo pigment. Sadly and contrary to the advice I have been given on how to paint with it on silks, the beautiful hue that I am told I would obtain has not manifested itself. Are you familiar with Mayan Blue? if so, I would appreciate your input.
I used icon imagery while studying textiles in London many years ago after an inspiring trip to the Greek Orthodox church located in Bayswater, the beauty of them still haunts me today. Your beautiful work brought back memories of it, thank you!
Thank you for your kind words about my work.
Yes, I am familiar with Maya Blue; it is one of my favourite blues! I first created it for my 100 mile ART project in Cambridge (Ontario) and I still use it today. It took many attempts to create the right hue, but it is a beautiful colour. Here is a link to follow to read more about my process: https://www.redearthicons.com/topic/pigments/maya-blue
That said, I haven’t painted on silk with it, so if your troubles are with your binder I’m not sure I can offer any advice, but if you’re trying to create the right colour, let me know how I can help.
Thank you for the link to your work on Mayan blue which I enjoyed reading.
I think this wonderful and rare pigment is not best suited on silks. I have the right binder and recipe to apply alas not the desired results. As I understand it, it is not suitable for dyeing like Indigofera and Woad either.
Thank you once again for getting back to me.
PS: Vivienne Westwood used icon imagery for her recent A/W 2011 collection