Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

The Color Blue

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"


The Color Blue The Meaning of the color Blue
The color and material used in Elizabethan Clothing was extremely important. People who could wear the color Blue was dictated by English Law. These were called the Sumptuary Laws. The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color Blue, provided information about the status of the man or woman wearing them.

This was not just dictated by the wealth of the person, it also reflected their social standing. The meaning of colors during the Elizabethan era represented many aspects of their life - the social, religious, biblical and Christian symbolism was reflected in the color Blue.

The Symbolic and Religious Meaning of the color Blue
Some interesting facts and information about the symbolic, religious, Christian and Biblical meaning of the color Blue

  • The color blue is closely associated with the state of servitude and was a popular color of clothes worn by servants
  • The color blue has a Biblical meaning symbolizing heavenly grace. The Virgin Mary is often depicted wearing blue clothing
  • The blue dye produced by the leaves of woad was not colorfast and blue clothes were worn by the lower classes and not to be confused with the brilliant color indigo, or royal blue, which was produced by using the expensive indigo plant dyes which were imported from India producing cloth which could only be afforded by the wealthy
  • Woad was a European herb (Isatis tinctoria) of the mustard family grown for the blue dyestuff yielded by its leaves - cultivated as a source of blue dye
  • The color blue is associated with the color of clothes worn by servants
  • Lower Class people who were allowed to wear the color blue during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws were lower and upper classes

The Dye used to produce the color Blue
Some interesting facts and information about the dyes used to produce the color. Woad was a European herb (Isatis tinctoria) of the mustard family grown for the blue dyestuff yielded by its leaves - cultivated as a source of blue dye. Woad was one of the most common dyes used in England and its production produced a terrible smell. The leaves were dried, crushed and composted with manure. The dye was produced through fermentation over several weeks. The smell was so bad that Queen Elizabeth, forbade the production of woad within five miles of any her royal estates.

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