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Amazingly up close the darker thread is indeed a very dark blue. Even a couple of metres away the blue looks black but taking the dress out into daylight revealed how very vibrant the dyes still are.
I have hunches but scientific testing will reveal what dyes were used. Importantly, these should give an indication of the age of the fabric, imported dyes being more prevalent towards the end of the eighteenth century than before (see Annette Kok’s chapter in The History of Highland Dress by John Telfer Dunbar and articles by Professor Hugh Cheape and Dr Anita Quye for more information on what dyes were used and when).
Here are a few photos I took this afternoon of our private viewing.
Many thanks to the wonderful Kari and her assistant at the Inverness Museum for all their help this afternoon 🙂