The Arms & Equipment in the Civil War Message Board

How did they dye things back then, did they.......

Hello all,
I am curious: How did they dye things back then? Did they just put the cloth or clothing down in a big pot of vat of whatever dye they were using at the moment and let it soak? Did thy have to boil it to make it "sink" in or what? Was there any difference in dying wool as opposed to cotton products?

Now, how do you make the dye? For example, a diary kept by a girl from Cahaba, Al. said they used Oak and Sweetgum bark together to make grey dye. Now my question is this: What do you do to make dye out of that? Do you put the bark in a tub of water and boil it down and presto you have dye? Just curious,
Millbrook, Al..