Cauldron for dyeing wool. Late 19th century.
Copper cauldron used for decades in a textile workshop in the city of London, province of Catamarca. It was used especially to dye sheep's wool with cochineal grana -achieving that intense red so attractive to the eye- thanks to its pewter-lined interior and its concave bottom that favors a more uniform impregnation of the fibers. Measurements: Diameter: 40 cm / 15.74 in. Height: 30 cm / 11.81 in.
Old practice reaffirmed in the new studies: “Pewter (not chipped) or clay pots with coating are recommended. Those made of stainless steel are considered excellent, but they are very expensive… You can use copper or iron pots but you will get different results than those obtained with the recipes included here; usually the colors will be darker”. (1)
We imagine a probable origin in Asia Minor, brought to Argentina by immigrants from the Lebanese Syrian community who arrived fleeing the discriminatory yoke to which the Ottoman Empire subjected them, under whose domination their territory was until the outbreak of the First World War, and also of the War of Tripoli of 1911, for which their children were conscripted. The Northwest of our country -due to its geographical similarity- was very welcoming and they settled there to dedicate a good part of them to commerce.
Notes: 1. María Hurtado: Natural dyes recipe book. 2016, p. 28, On the Internet: Edit. Digital ISSU Inc. Copenhagen. Denmark.