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Over the centuries our manipulation of the natural world has resulted in an explosion of synthetic dye production and application globally. To gain insight into the history of how folk practices have been lost and technical processes found, anthropologist and textile artist Lauren MacDonald explores a practice that is both ancient and wholly modern: coloring cloth.
The pursuit of color has long spurred economic and social contest, and through this deeply researched volume, we explore the stories that the materials used to dye cloth tell us about our complex relationship to nature, our troubling ideas about progress, and our understanding of power and labor.
In Pursuit of Color: From Fungi to Fossil Fuels: Uncovering the Origins of the World’s Most Famous Dyes brings together historic techniques, archive photography, specimens and present-day events to tell the histories of some of the world’s most important dyestuffs. A 32-page supplement accompanies the volume, detailing practical applications and the chemistry behind dyeing processes.