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The art of dyeing is probably almost as old as that of weaving. Simple dying techniques include washing fabric along with some colouring agent or dyestuff into the fabric. More advanced dyeing methods often involve colouring threads before they are woven. Specialist dye factories existed that would specialise in making certain colours of fabric.

The materials required for various colours were, in some cases, very expensive or complicated. This lead to a vast difference between the colours that peasantry could afford compared to nobility. This of course led to people trying to obtain certain colours as a way of demonstrating their wealth.

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