A wide variety of different dyes, complex composition of natural dye sources and low concentrations in samples make the identification of textile dyes challenging. In our cultural heritage group, work has been done for years to overcome some of these problems. Using seven different red dye sources and five instrumental approaches, a method for the analysis of textile dyes has now been developed in our lab to study different archaeological findings, museum artifacts, and other textile pieces. More about the results can be found in the article published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage by P. Peets, S. Vahur, A. Kruve, T. Haljasorg, K. Herodes, T. Pagano and I. Leito.
The usefulness of this developed method has been proved by analyzing several case-study samples from Estonian National Museum, KANUT, and private collections. Thanks to the multiple instrument combination and especially the usage of high-resolution mass-spectrometry, it was also possible to identify synthetic organic dyes without the use of any standard substances.