Elizabeth Ist coat of arms

The Color Brown

Queen Elizabeth Ist

"Queen Elizabeth Ist"

The Color BrownThe Meaning of the color Brown
The color and material used in Elizabethan Clothing was extremely important. People who could wear the color Brown was dictated by English Law. These were called the Sumptuary Laws. The colors of Elizabethan clothes, including the color Brown, 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 Brown.

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

  • The symbolic meaning of the color brown was humility and poverty
  • Cheap dyes, made from the madder root, were used to produce the color brown
  • The Madder root produced the whole spectrum of red based colors including orange, russet and brown.
  • The brown dye produced by the madder root dye was not colorfast and brown clothes were worn by the lower classes and the clergy
  • Brown clothing also symbolized humility and plainness, and for this reason was associated with monastic life and could be cheaply produced by using coarse, rough, undyed dark wool
  • People who were allowed to wear the color brown during the Elizabethan era, as decreed by the English Sumptuary Laws, were lower and upper classes

The Dye used to produce the color Brown
Some interesting facts and information about the dyes used to produce the color. Madder was a European herb (Rubia tinctorum) the root of which was used in dyeing cultivated as a source of red dye. Used to produce cloth dyed in various shades of red based colors including orange, russet, pink, coral, light red, dark red, russet and brown

Elizabethan Clothing
Elizabethan Era Index

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