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Madder Red

Madder Red, a dyestuff obtained from the madder plant, Rubia tinctorum. The dye is obtained from the roots, and the quality varies greatly with the age of the plant and with the climatic conditions of the country where grown. The roots are either sun or kiln-dried, threshed to remove the outer skin, cut and ground in stone mills. Frequently, however, the last process is omitted, and the dyestuff sold as the cut pieces. The chief constituent of the root of importance in dyeing is alizarin (q.v.), but a large number of other compounds are also present. Though formerly immense quantities of this substance were employed in the dyeing industry for the production of Turkey red, obtained chiefly from France, Germany, Italy, and Turkey, yet of late years the artificially-prepared alizarin has almost entirely replaced the natural substance.

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