The woolen yarns are now ready to be dyed.Synthetic dyes, invented and formulated in the 19th Century were first used in Turkey in 1882.Up untill then,and even more recently, up to about 30-40 years ago, pure vegetal dyes were used in most villages and on most of the plateaus of Anatolia.But now natural dyed yarns are very rarely used.
The dyeing process consists of submerging the fibre in a liquid chemical containing pigments.Sometimes a mordant is added to fix the colour.
Turks have long been experts in dyeing fabrics.As they knew the principles of dyeing, they knew also how to evaluate the dyeing properties of the vegetation they found in each homeland, and adapted their dyeing processes accordingly.
The two most important plants used in dyeing since the ancient times are madder (Rubia tinctorium) and buckthorn ( Rhamnus tinctoria).Madder, which is called as ' Boyacı Kökü ' (Dyers madder ), 'kökboya' (madder root ) or Pysalis Flexusoa is an important part of Turkish vegetation.It is used especially to obtain red pigment which silk carpets are dyed.The pigment of this plant is in its roots and aged plants contain more pigment than young roots.They are harvested or picked either in spring or Autumn when they are dry.The roots are dried in the shade.They are used after threshing or pounding.Red, brown, yellow and bluish hues are obtained from madder by using different mordants such as alum ( potassium aluminium sulphate), tannin (gallo-tannic acid) and chromium.
Like madder, the buckthorn has long been known in Anatolia, where it is widely grown .Variously known as ' Boyacı dikeni ', ' Sarı boya ' (Rhamnus cathartica) , and ' Altın ağacı ' ( Dyer's thorn ) . Different shades of green are obtained from the pigment contained in the small unripe grape-like fruits, which are yellowish-green before they are ripen, and later blacken.By using mordants,different shades of yellow and various tones and shades of beige and brown can also be obtained.
In addition to all those, dyes are made by traditional recipes from the roots, leaves, fruits and skins of various plants, including the onion, pomegranate, alkanet ( Alkana tinctoria), quince,saffron ( Chrocus Sativus ), apple, peach and alder (Alnus glutinosa).
It si very important for the dyes used in weaving to be durable when exposed to light.In order to provide light-fastness, different mordants are used.For example, the pigments obtained from the apple leaves do not colour fast on exposure to light, but they are rendered so by adding from sulphate or sulphuric acid.On the other hand, since the tincture of the pigments obtained from the dyer's or valonia oak ( quercus aegilops) tend to darken on exposure to light, they are preferred as a mordant for fabrics such as carpets or kilims.