Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design


Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design

First Advisor

Margaret Ordoñez


Ninety-one woven wool textile specimens from a mid-seventeenth century Narragansett Indian burial site were selected for dye analysis. Transmission spectrophotometry of extracted dye solutions and thin-layer chromatography were the methods of identification for mordant dyes. Non-mordant dyes were reduced in ammonia and sodium hydrosulfite before dilution in butanol for spectrophotometry. Fifty-seven specimens gave positive results in one or both of the tests performed on them. Twenty-eight specimens were positively identified as indigo, twenty-seven as madder. Thirty specimens were undyed and four yeilded inconclusive results. Two fragments suggested the presence of the insect dye kermes, one of which may also have been dyed with a hydroxyflavone yellow dye. These results were examined for their implications regarding test methods, historical context, conservation decisions and the applicability of the test methods to small specimens.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.