Assassin’s Creed Discovery Tour: Dyeing and Fashion | Ep. 2 | Ubisoft [NA]


MARKOS
Hello, my friend! Welcome to Kythera, where clothes are dyed
and noses are assaulted by disgusting smells. MARKOS
Why, I’m Ma rkos, of course! One of the most successful merchants in all
of Greece. You really haven’t heard of me? MARKOS
My name is known from Kephallonia to Kos! If you’ve ever paid money for something, I
probably received a percentage. MARKOS
But enough about me. Let’s go back t o what you’re doing here. MARKOS
I think it smells terrible and I can’t wait to get out of here. MARKOS
The colors are pretty, though. MARKOS
This little island was where dyers brought all the color to Greek fashion – through an
intensely stinky procedure. MARKOS
This tour will reveal the steps it took for workers to brew the dye. MARKOS
Try not to step in any mollusk guts as you enjoy your visit. MARKOS
I promise I’ll meet you at the end of your tour. See you soon, my friend! NARRATOR
In Greece, fabric and clothing were colored using natural dyes from shellfish, insects,
and plants. NARRATOR
Skilled craftsmen across the Greek world extracted dyes from these sources and combined them
with other substances to create a variety of colors. NARRATOR
The dyeing process supposedly produced incredibly pungent smells, and ancient writers would
often comment on the stink in their works. NARRATOR
Murex is the generic name for three species of mollusks that reside in the Mediterranean. NARRATOR
The substance they secrete was used by craftsmen to create the most expensive dyes in the ancient
world, the most famous of which was “Tyrian Purple”. NARRATOR
Fishing techniques varied depending on the type of mollusk. NARRATOR
In shallow waters, fishermen could simply dive and catch the mollusks, but they set
traps if the water was too deep. NARRATOR
Being carnivorous, murex were often lured using dead animal flesh as bait. NARRATOR
It was imperative that the mollusks be captured alive, as they only secreted the precious
purple liquid needed for dyes upon death. NARRATOR
The purple liquid that made up most dyes came from a gland in the murex. NARRATOR
To collect it, workers would either crack open the mollusk’s shell with a knife, or
if it was smaller, crush it with a stone. NARRATOR
Each mollusk only produced a small amount of liquid, and thousands of them were needed
to produce even a gram of the substance. NARRATOR
Because of this, captured mollusks were usually kept alive in seawater-immersed baskets until
enough had accumulated to produce a satisfactory amount of dye. NARRATOR
The mollusk glands were mixed with salt and left to decompose for three days. NARRATOR
Afterwards, the resulting mash was placed in a vat, where it boiled until it was thickened
and reduced to one-sixteenth of its original volume. NARRATOR
The dyers stirred this mixture and removed any impurities. NARRATOR
This process produced the foul odor so reviled by ancient writers. NARRATOR
Dyers checked the hue of the purple liquid by dipping in raw wool. NARRATOR
The hue could be changed by adjusting the temperature of the liquid, and by soaking
the wool for different periods of time, with longer soaking producing deeper shades. NARRATOR
The wool was dyed once before spinning, and again befor e weaving, to ensure it maintained
its color. NARRATOR
While murex -purple dyed wool easily, it did not adhere as well to other fabrics, such
as linen. NARRATOR
Most Greek garments were made from rectangular fabric that was rarely cut or sewn. NARRATOR
They were normally folded around the body with girdles, pins, and buttons. NARRATOR
Dyeing served to give the garments a more unique style. NARRATOR
Decorations were also widely used, and were either woven or painted on. They depicted things like animals, human figures,
and mythological scenes. NARRATOR
Textile manufacturing and trade was one of the most lucrative businesses in Classical
Athens. NARRATOR
Textiles were made of either wool or linen, with wool being the most common. NARRATOR
Women produced the garments worn in domestic life, although some men ran professional workshops
that fulfilled the same need. NARRATOR
Other textiles were made by slaves and laborers under the supervision of master weavers, fullers,
and dyers. NARRATOR
Clothes didn’t just keep people warm. They were used as a way to communicate social
identities like gender, status, and ethnicity. NARRATOR
These could b e expressed through garments and accessories, but also jewelry, hair styles,
perfumes, and cosmetics. NARRATOR
Wealthy Greeks usually had garments of the highest quality, and all their accessories
were decorated with gold, silver, or gemstones. NARRATOR
Parasols and fans were also an important part of elite fashion, and were usually carried
by accompanying slaves. NARRATOR
The most common Greek garments were the peplos, the chiton, and the himation. NARRATOR
The peplos – typically worn by women – was a body-length cloth. NARRATOR
It was folded back on itself and worn draped over the body and pinned over the shoulders. NARRATOR
The chiton was a long garment with sleeves. NARRATOR
Ankle-length chitones were normally worn by women, while men wore shorter versions of
the garment. NARRATOR
A himation was a mantle that was worn over both the chiton and the peplos. NARRATOR
Outside of daily life, there were also specialized clothes worn only in exceptional situations
like weddings and religious ceremonies. MARKOS
Good to see you again, my friend! MARKOS
I bet your clothes feel heavier now that you know how many mollusks were killed to dye
them. MARKOS
But let’s change the subject, yes? What else can I do for you? MARKOS
Then let’s get right into it, starting with this question. MARKOS
Which purple dye was the most famous? MARKOS
I’m not familiar with that specific shade. Sounds like something the Spartans would like. MARKOS
Try another answer. MARKOS
No, although I think I’ll use that name if I ever market my own dye. “Markos’s Marvelous Mauve” has a nice ring
to to it. MARKOS
Eh, I don’t think so. Try again. MARKOS
Yes! The purple created from murex secretions was
one of the most expensive and well known dyes in the world. MARKOS
Here’s another question! MARKOS
How did workers check the dye’s hue? MARKOS
No, looking at the dye was not enough. Try again. MARKOS
It would not have been a good idea to stick a finger into a stinking, boiling mixture
of mollusk secretions. Keep trying. MARKOS
No, unless they wanted burned purple toes MARKOS
Try another answer. MARKOS
Correct! Workers dipped wool into the mixture to gauge
the exact hue of the dye. MARKOS
Almost done, my friend! Just one final question. MARKOS
Which body-length garment was typically worn by women? MARKOS
Pelops was the legendary founder of the Olympic Games. Keep trying. MARKOS
A himation was a mantle worn over other types of clothing. Try again. MARKOS
The chlamys was a garment usually worn by men during hunting expeditions or military
excursions. Try another answer. MARKOS
Correct! A peplos was a body-length cloth that a women
draped over her body and pinned around her shoulders. MARKOS
I had no idea you were so knowledgeable about fashion, but look at you! I should have known from what you’re wearing. MARKOS
You’ve got it, my friend. Farewell for now!

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