By: Anita B. Loscalzo
Prussian blue, a cool, greenish-blue mineral color discovered around 1706, became an important artist’s pigment in the eighteenth century and a low-coast alternative to indigo for coloring textiles in the first half of the nineteenth century. Its popularity as a colorant for textiles coincided with improved printing and dyeing processes developed in Europe and adopted into the United States. American and European fabrics printed or dyed with Prussian blue appear most frequently in quilts made into Untied States between 1830 and the mid-185-s, correlating with the textiles found in women’s dresses for everyday use. Scattered remnants appear in pieced development of Prussian blue from a chemical curiosity to a major colorant of textiles manufacture in the nineteenth century, and its subsequent appearance in quilts.