Walnut Husks

Walnut Husks


Walnuts (genus Juglans) are plants in the family Juglandaceae. They are deciduous trees, 10 - 40 metres tall (about 30-130 ft.).
The word walnut derives from Old English wealhhnutu, literally "foreign nut", wealh meaning "foreign" (wealh is akin to the terms Welsh and Vlach; see *Walha and History of the term Vlach). The walnut was so called because it was introduced from Gaul and Italy. The previous Latin name for the walnut was nux Gallica, "Gallic nut".


As far back as Roman times black cloth was produced by dyeing of fabric or skeins in dye baths of tannic acid and iron salts; including using black walnuts. It is mentioned in Pliny and there is evidence of it in the dyeworks at Pompeii. Walnut was also known as a dye during the Viking Age.

Dyeing black from a combination of tannic acid and iron salts was common in Roman times. Various plant materials were used including all portions of nut trees. The walnut (Juglans Nux Regia) was brought by the Roman to the European continent and England. The iron mordant was made from dissolving iron in vinegar. The fabric, if it was wool, was then dyed by the infectors and effectors.

Each step in wool production was handled by a separate company. As dyeing moves into the Middle Ages the Guilds take over the various steps of processing various fabrics. In Germany, there is even a specific group for dyeing black called the Schwartzfarber. This group is less prestigious than one that dyed colors .