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Thread: Correct Blue

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011



    It also depends on the maker of sack coats worn today. The misconception in the "sutler" community today is Union sack coats, forage caps, etc... were navy blue so that tends to be the color used. Your period correct blue, (Wambaugh & White made clothing for example), use indigo blue which is the correct color. However, like authentic coats, caps, etc... of that time, there may be some variation in the color shade.

    A guess, is there are more general navy blue sutler sack coats worn overall, which explains why you see more navy blue than the period correct lighter indigo blue.


    Joe Musgrove
    "I fight for Uncle Abe"

  2. #12



    In dyeing, there are the concepts of color fast and light fast. Meaning, how deep and long color lasted, and how fast or slow color resisted UV light fading or breakdown. Vegetable dye stuffs were notorious for not being color and light fast- some more than others. Aniline dyestuffs helped on both counts.

    But even aniline is not 100 percent fast, as we see aniline navy blue woolen coats turn purple.

    From John Wedeward, and his site, is a sampling of original blouses:

    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006


    Thank you for the clarification.
    John Wickett
    Repatriated Hoosier

  4. #14



    I have wondered about this for a while and the answers are more than thorough. When I look at old paintings by Winslow Homer, it seems that the jackets are a brighter indigo blue but I rarely see that color at the handful of reenactments that I've been at. (Of course, making prints of paintings introduces all sorts of variables as well)

    Is indigo blue the same as Prussian blue? Or is that yet another variation in the range?

    Mark Henry

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    On The Road Again


    Indigo requires a 'reducer' to force it into solution with water.

    The common reducer was a lye and urine combination.

    Prussian Blue uses sulfuric as the reducer.
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