Bookbinding and the Conservation of Books
A Dictionary of Descriptive Terminology

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logwood

An aqueous extract obtained from the heartwood of the logwood tree, Haematoxylon campechisnum, of Central America and the West Indies. Logwood contains approximately 50% haematoxylin (C 16 H 14 O6 . 3H 2 O), a colorless crystalline material when pure, but which turns blood red when exposed to air. It is only slightly soluble in water, but dissolves in aqueous solution of alkalis to give a range of colors from violet to black. It was taken to Europe soon after the discovery of America, and was one of the most important of the natural coloring matters until the 19th century, when it was superseded by synthetic dyestuffs of greater brilliance. Logwood dye was used in producing black ink, marbling colors, including purple and violet, and is still used in dyeing leather and textiles black. (233 )




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