New Words and Fanciful Names: Dyes, Color, and Fashion in the Mid-Nineteenth Century
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This chapter introduces the aniline dyes of the 1850s and 1860s, along with the new words used for the colors created with these dyes. It then addresses how colorists (the dye chemists employed by textile manufacturers) and fashion journalists writing for middle-class women discussed fashionable colors. Both groups used a range of fashionable color terms and distinguished carefully among available colors. The chapter concludes by examining the increasing availability of branded dye products for domestic and commercial markets in the mid-nineteenth century. Nicklas argues that both the language of fashionable color and the variety of new dye products linked male colorists and female fashion consumers.