Colorants Detected by HPLC-PDA in Textiles from 13th Century Lieto Ristinpelto, Finland

Krista Wright*, Ina Vanden Berghe, Jenni Sahramaa, Jenni A. Suomela

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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Organic colorants of textiles found in the female burial of Lieto Ristinpelto, SW Finland, were analyzed by HPLC-PDA. The textiles’ visible colors varied from different brownish shades to blueish, greenish, and reddish hues. The aim of the chromatographic analysis was to deepen the current understandings of the dyes used in Finland at the transition between the 12th and 13th centuries AD, i.e., at the beginning of the local Medieval period, and to contribute important new information about dyes and clothing from this less-known period of textile history of Finland. The textile finds consisted of a bronze spiral ornamented shawl, an apron tied at the waist, two tablet-woven bands, and a diagonally plaited band with plaited tassels. A unique find was a textile possibly made using the sprang technique. Other textile finds were an orange wool tabby and twill fragments. Analysis of thirty samples from fourteen different textiles indicated that woad colorants were present in most samples, accompanied with lichen compounds, and dyer’s madder was in two visually orange fragments. The visually reddish samples contained luteolin, but no red colorants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1209-1226
Number of pages18
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • dyer’s madder
  • luteolin
  • Medieval period
  • organic colorants
  • unknown orange compounds
  • woad
  • wool textiles


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