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Houndstooth 1

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A case of the blues: a hand-sewn houndstooth fleece jacket with patterned insert and copper ribbon trim made from an old Burda pattern; made of angled pieces (see the back side after the jump); the collar can be worn up for warmth or open / Oct. 2008

Yesterday's post mentioned blueprints. They are so-named because of the process used to print them called cyanotype where a photosensitive compound is applied to paper. When the paper is exposed to strong light the “printed” areas are converted to insoluble blue ferric ferrocyanide, sometimes called Prussian blue or iron blue.  

Prussian blue (also called Hamburg Blue, Paris Blue, Milori blue, Haarlem blue, bronze blue, celestial blue, cyanine, oriental blue, and potash blue) is a very dark blue, colorfast, non-toxic pigment. The discovery of this pigment (circa 1704) was important since it was the first stable and light-fast blue pigment to be widely used by painters and artists (previously many of the blues they used would fade or were prohibitively expensive). Prussian blue has been used as a pigment in printing inks, paints, typewriter ribbons, and carbon paper.

Solutions derived from Prussian blue are the basis for laundry bluing. Somewhat counterintuitively, it improves the appearance of textiles, especially white fabrics. Adding a blue dye solution (e.g., baking soda mixed with synthetic ultramarine, or sometimes Prussian blue) to the wash disguises yellowing and makes whites appear whiter. Need to brighten your whites and colors? Try Mrs. Stewart's Bluing (it's not-toxic and biodegradable, too!).

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