MADDER ROOT (Rubia tinctoria): One of several madder plants, all of which give red dye to some degree. Grown as a dye source in Asia, and the Mid-East from c. 4000 BC.
Complex dye chemicals: alizarin, purpurin, xanthine, ruberthyric acid, etc. Believed to be the famous Turkey Red dye, used by Middle Eastern carpet-weavers. There are at least three colors in madder: yellow (actually orange), red, and brown. Ammonium sulfate, bran, chalk, hartshorn, and tartaric acid are good dye assistants. Light-fast and wash-fast if well-soaked before dyeing and steeped in the dyepot.
Also used as a colorant for medieval illuminations.
There is a name for madder, and for qualities of madder, in nearly every country in the world: AKA: Alizarin, Anatolian madder, dyer’s madder, garden madder, Indian madder, matter, wild madder, Turkey red, robbia [Ar] al-lizari, foiioy [Canada] tyssa-voyana [Hin] chay, chat (wild madder) [Du] meerap, crop, munjeet, krappe madder (finest dye); gemen (mid-grade); mull (low-grade dye) [Fr] garance [Gael] madar ruadh (Oldenlandia – wild madder); baladh cnis chon chulaiin (field madder roots), dearg faille, mada ruadh [Ger] de krapp, granzuolli [Gk] erythrodanon, lizari [Hin] manjishtha, manjit, manjith, majeeth [It] ciocchi, robbia, rosa, granzuoli [Jp] akane (Bengal madder) [Nepal] majhito [OE] maedere, maeddre [Per] boyak, dumas, ruuan [Skt] manjishtha [Sp] roza, ombro [So. Am] relbunium
Alum mordant: red to deep red-orange
Copper mordant: red-brown
Iron mordant: brownish-purple
Tin mordant: red to red-purple