Cudbear


Cudbear is the northern European equivalent to Parelle. The commonest lichen used was Ochrolechia tartarea but others were used too.

The name was coined by George and Cuthbert Gordon who applied for a patent in 1758 which came about after George, a coppersmith from Banffshire, while mending a copper boiler in a London dye-house, noticed an orchil dye being used which was similar to his native crottles in the Highlands. His brother Cuthbert was a dye merchant in Leith.

It was later a major industry in Glasgow promoted by George Macintosh (1739-1807) of Dunchattan

Ochrolechia tartarea
Ochrolechia tartarea
L'orseille de Suède et de Norvège, 
Corkir (Scotland), Korkje (Norway)
from Guide des Teintures Naturelles
Dominique Cardon et Gaëtan du Chatenet, 
Delachaux et Niestlé 1990 ISBN 2 603 00732 7
The 1758 patent number 727 gives a recipe which uses "the Archelia or Spanish Weed, and is intirely composed of materials the produce of Great Britain or of His Majesty's Plantations". 

Have a look for yourself.

By the mid-nineteenth century, the orchil and cudbear industries were indistinguishable and here is a recipe used in the mid-twentieth century by Johnsons of Hendon who made cudbear from Roccella montagnei from Madagascar ...
The lichens are not washed or ground up; they are first boiled with an ammonium carbonate solution, cooled and placed in glazed stoneware sinks about three feet by eighteen inches by twelve inches deep. Ammonia is then added and they are turned and kept in the right state of dampness for three or four weeks. Finally the cudbear is dried out and ground into a powder. 


 
 Alternatives to lichen dyes   Manufacture of Dye Colours   The Colour Cauldron   A Manual of dyeing: for the use of practical dyers, manufacturers, students ...   A short History of the Orchil Dyes   A practical treatise on dying of woolen, cotton, and skein silk with ... 


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