Dyers' Art

Dyers’ Art, important activity connected to the ancient production process of fabrics, was one of the numerous active medieval guilds in Florence since the XIII century and reached its maximum splendour during the first years of the century XIV.
Textile activity was above all in those two centuries a city industry of decisive importance for the economy of the city thanks to the contribution of the prestigious members of the most important Wool Art.
Since the beginning Dyers Art had great relief inside this job organization. Its ability and competence were owed above all to the variety, the stability and the brightness of dyes on fabrics that were produced inside the complex production cycle.
The Dyers category was divided in three groups, those of the Major Art, perhaps the best organized, that dyed the fabrics in various colours, those of the Decorative Arts, specialized in dyes of red colour using the “madder”, vegetable substance from whose roots were extracted the active principle, and finally those of the Art of the Woad, other vegetable used for getting a vast range of blues.
The extraordinary mastery of this complex Art, and of so many secrets that were handed on from a generation to another, allowed to produce enormous quantities of cloths; handmade articles that today we still see in numerous pictorial representations of the Renaissance Florence and that can be appreciated for the persistence and the brightness of colours but also for the extraordinary variety of available colours that had to answer and suit the variable demands of a very fully- developed inside and international market.

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