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Evaluating The Role of Nila (indigo) Dye in Protection of Egyptian Linen Textiles from the Deterioration Factors

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The indigo dyed linen textiles are one of the most popular textiles in most of historical periods in the Egyptian civilization. This study aims to investigate the role of indigo dye in preventing, reducing or inhibiting the deterioration of ancient Egyptian linen textiles. In this study linen textiles were experimentally dyed by indigo dye. Undyed and dyed linen were artificially aged by light, heat, soil and fungi. The change in the physical and chemical properties of the undyed and indigo-dyed linen textiles after being artificially aged were determined by various methods such as tensile strength and elongation, the crystallinity index (CrI) by using X-ray diffraction, the surface morphology by using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and spectrophotometric measurements of the colour were calculated. The results confirm that indigo dye inhibits and reduces the deterioration of linen textiles. These results confirm that indigo dyed linen textiles are more durable than undyed ones. They may explain why archaeologists discover dyed linen textiles in better condition than undyed ones. Also, they explain why the Museums in Egypt have dyed linen textiles in better quality than undyed ones.


Indigo dye, ancient Egyptian textiles, deterioration factors, artificially ageing methods