Colouring or painting with natural dyeing materials has been fundamental in art and intrinsic to the cultural identity of the Mediterranean area, since antiquity. However, since mid 19th century synthetic substances almost entirely expelled natural dyes fr om the market. The reconstruction and revival of traditional manufacturing processes for natural colorants, as well as of dyeing procedures or painting techniques is essential for the preservation of the Mediterranean cultural heritage. Rationally produced natural dyes can be used for artworks and folk applied art crafts, and this can also invest to the creation of new jobs, introducing a social-economic impact on the quality of human life. Furthermore, developing environmentally more acceptable products is a positive action towards the ecosystem. The proposal implies several coordinated activities, such as: (i) Analytical study of representative artworks/artefacts as far as the identification of the organic colouring materials, and the technology of their a pplication is concerned. (ii) Practical revival/approbation of reconstructed application techniques/technologies of the dyes and derived organic pigments on several substrates, e.g. textile, paper and paintings, for the creation of artefacts according to a ncient recipes. (iii) Optimisation of the application techniques through the investigation of interrelation between application physicochemical conditions and final result in terms of colour hue, strength and fastness. (iv) Synthesis and production of majo r colouring components, utilized as standards for dyestuff identification, at a molecular level. (v) Dissemination of the newly produced materials (pigments and standards). (vi) Recommendations for conservation strategies, based on the analytical results. (vii) Creation of a database for standard dyeing protocols with corresponding references to the relevant ancient recipes.
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