THE present work consists of three volumes, two of letterpress, interspersed with illustrations of plant, which run to over 900 pages, and a third volume containing specimens of dyed fabrics. It is a substantial contribution to an important branch of technology, and the authors have succeeded fairly well in meeting the requirements of the various classes of readers for whose use the work has been written. The first general impression produced on looking through the volumes is one of satisfaction that the subject is handled in a more scientific way than has hitherto been the case in such works. The only feeling of disappointment to which the consideration of the book gives rise is in no way attributable to the authors, but is due to the circumstance that so little is known about the scientific relationship between a colouring-matter and the fabric which is dyed thereby. All that is known about the theory of dyeing is ably stated in the introductory chapter, and one of the authors (Dr. Knecht) has himself made some very interesting investigations in this field. But, in spite of all that has been written, the subject of dyeing has still to be taught as an art rather than as a science. The centres of the tinctorial industry in this country, such as Leeds, Manchester, Bradford, and Huddersfield, are now provided with Technical Schools, in which the dyeing department is made a special feature. If we might venture to offer a word of advice to those who are providing for this industry, it is that adequate provision should be made for the scientific side of the subject by the equipment of laboratories and the appointment of competent specialists for carrying on original investigation in connection with dyeing. The dyeing departments in those schools which we have had the opportunity of visiting are admirably equipped for instruction in the principles of the art, but the instructor has to devote so much time to this part of the work, and the students who attend are, as a rule, so ill-prepared in general scientific training that the instruction given cannot rise much above that handicraft level against which the writer has had so frequently to protest in connection with other branches of technology. Till this defect is remedied, the results achieved by our technical schools will not be commensurate with the endowment bestowed upon their equipment.
A Manual of Dyeing: for the use of Practical Dyers, Manufacturers, Students, and all interested in the Art of Dyeing.
By Edmund Knecht Christopher Rawson Richard Loewenthal (London: Charles Griffin and Co., 1893.)
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MELDOLA, R. A Manual of Dyeing: for the use of Practical Dyers, Manufacturers, Students, and all interested in the Art of Dyeing. Nature 48, 170–172 (1893) doi:10.1038/048170a0