Le Cahiers de Couleurs d’Antoine Janot/Workbook, Antoine Janot’s Colours


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From the Publisher:

Celestial blue, quince flower, sour cherry, lobster red… How can we not be inspired by these color names from the past? Le Cahiers de Couleurs d’Antoine Janot is a bilingual Workbook in English and French presents the color gamut of Antoine Janot. Janot was a master-dyer from Languedoc in the south of France during the 18th century. His colors were highly prized as far away as the Levant (modern day regions including Syria, Turkey, Israel, Jordan).

There is a brief introduction of the master-dyer and his work. Then the authors deliver the key elements defining the colors of 67 swatches of fine wool broadcloth. It includes the name and photo of each shade; a schematic description of the process by which it has been obtained; and (in a new approach to the history of color names in textiles) its chromatic specification in the CIELAB color space. Therefore this makes it possible to assess the accuracy of attempts to reproduce these colors and use them as sources of inspiration for the future.

Historian and archaeologist, Dr. Dominique Cardon explores the history of textile techniques and natural dyeing throughout the world. Dr. Cardon is Emerita Director of Research at CNRS (French National Center of Scientific Research), research unit CIHAM. They awarded her the Silver Medal of CNRS in 2011. Dr Iris Brémaud, Research Fellow at CNRS (research unit LMGC), is a researcher in wood science. She examines the relationships between craft knowledge and plant resources. She applies colorimetry to this research on historical colors.

Kathy says:

Le Cahiers de Couleurs d’Antoine Janot is a wonderful book because it provides so much useful information for us. It has the original French text and an English translation. Additionally, it includes a way to describe the colors based on chromatic specification through the CIELAB color space. If you’ve ever nerded out and read scientific papers on the color qualities of a substance, you will often see notations based on this specification. This information helps us round out our understanding of historical color and accurately reproducing it  The book contains detailed descriptions of how a specific color was dyed. It includes nuances such as if the madder root was stripped or left unpeeled. Or for example whether the aluminum sulfate was from the Papal mines near Rome. They provide a peek into the work of an 18th century master dyer.

Furthermore, the other cool thing about this workbook is that the binding is Coptic-sewn so it lies flat. The binding thread is a neon orange, an odd choice for a natural dye book, but useful nonetheless.

Additional information

Weight 200 g
Dimensions 8.5 × 4 × .5 in


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