dyed in the wool love

dyed in the wool

Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. Simple past tense and past participle of dye in the wool.
  • adj. Alternative spelling of dyed-in-the-wool. (Set in one's ways, steadfast.)

Etymologies

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Examples

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  • "By the fifteenth century, hundreds of thousands of Europeans, from humble shepherds to great merchants, made a living from textiles, and many a nobleman depended on the wealth they created. Because each step in the cloth-making process was handled by different craftsmen, more than a dozen people could be involved in fashioning a single piece of fabric. The silk workers of Lucca, for example, included in their ranks a host of specialized workers: reelers to unwrap the cocoons, throwers to twist the thread, boilers to clean it, dyers to color it, and warpers and weavers to turn the thread into cloth.

    "Wool, the most common fiber in Europe, required even more specialization. After shepherds raised the sheep and shearers fleeced them, washers cleaned the raw wool and carders pulled the fibers apart with bristles. Spinners spun those fibers into yarn with distaffs and spindles and passed the yarn to the weavers, who wove it into cloth. Wool cloth then had to be 'finished,' a process that involved fullers or 'walkers' who washed the fabric in troughs of water treated with fuller's earth, a mineral compound that promoted absorption. (Many walkers trampled the mixture into the cloth with their bare feet, but prosperous fullers kept their boots on and used a millwheel and hammers instead.) The soaking-wet cloth was then hung out on wooden frames called tenters; tenterhooks held the fabric fast and stretched it to the right dimensions as it dried. While still damp, the cloth could be brushed and sheared several times for a finer, softer nap. The fabric was then handed to the dyers. Although dyers usually worked with finished cloth, sometimes they treated the unspun wool instead, a costly practice that yielded the most intense and enduring colors and gave us the expression 'dyed in the wool'."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 7-8.

    October 4, 2017