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"Lincoln Green -- what shade of green, exactly?" Topic

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5,754 hits since 12 Oct 2005
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 12:55 p.m. PST

I'm trying to track down a more exact description or, better, some links to illustrations showing what excat shade the fabled Lincoln Green of Robin Hood fame was/is. This color is also later encountered as a facing color for some British regiments — was it then the same shade as known in the Middle Ages? Thanks for tips. I've even thought about writing the Lord Mayor of Lincoln town for a definitive ruling!

Gronan of Simmerya Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 1:19 p.m. PST

Well, in Robin Hood's time, "Lincoln Green" would have been any green cloth made in Lincoln. There would be great variation even from bolt to bolt, or even within a bolt.

Use whatever pleases you.

fred12df12 Oct 2005 1:56 p.m. PST

Having grown up near Lincoln, I would always associate Lincoln green with a fairly bright, middle green. Darker than GW goblin green.

Personal logo Sue Kes Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2005 1:59 p.m. PST

We were told that the dyed wool came from Kendal in Westmoreland (a big centre of the wool trade at that time), and sent over to the Lincoln area to be made into cloth.

Kendal Green had a high woad component and was a sort of weathered, slightly blueish-green.

Very good camouflage in a wet forest – better, I would have thought, than a brighter shade!

Sue K.
(who lives near Kendal …)

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 2:11 p.m. PST

My understanding's that Lincoln green is indeed a pretty garish hue, although I'd imagine it became rather more drab over time. It did indeed use woad, but was dyed in two stages according to what I've read; the cloth was first dyed blue using woad, but then overdyed in yellow to give a fairly bright green.

An emerald green shade (eg. Citadel "Emerald Green"….) probably fits the bill, but matt varnished to within an inch of its life…. That said, I think a somewhat darker shade will look better, so would personally say "stuff accuracy" and go with that instead.


Nukuhiva Inactive Member12 Oct 2005 2:55 p.m. PST

Why, 'tis one of the forty, me lad….

Personal logo Sue Kes Supporting Member of TMP13 Oct 2005 7:10 a.m. PST

You could always go for the best camouflage colour – that of a well-worn birdwatcher's anorak, for example.

Sue K.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member13 Oct 2005 9:53 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the feedback, esp. from you merrie men (and maids) of Sherwood! I tend to associate the color with a bright olive, a grass green — woad and a yellow dye would produce a more muted shade, you would think, but there are references to Lincoln green being the color of "new leaves". I expect the tone could change over time, esp. after the cloth had been subjected to wear. Lincoln town must have become known for its green the way Stroudwater (? if I remember right) became known for scarlet. Then there's the Victorians, with their passion for reinventing the middle ages to suit there tastes, so what they called Lincoln green for 19th century military use could have been based on wishful thinking as much as anything else. Hard to say. When you look at various film recreations, Robin Hood's gang is shown in all manner of shades, from garish kelly green to a muted grass green to a blue-green color, so even costume researchers are not in agreement on this one.

Yettie Inactive Member15 Oct 2005 11:12 p.m. PST

"Lincoln Green" would have been any green cloth made in Lincoln…

Huumm I never knew this…another reason to read posts on this forum

Bill AKA yettie…"Otis"

CooperSteve Inactive Member16 Oct 2005 4:05 a.m. PST

I've always assumed it was a similar shade to snooker/pool table felt…

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member18 Oct 2005 1:14 p.m. PST

I'm asuming that while the town may have given its name to its green cloth, the exact shade would be distinctive enough that people would note and remember it, hence need to attach a tag to it — "Lincoln green" as opposed to plain old green. You would spot the color a lot faster and surer than ID where it came from.

physik Inactive Member19 Oct 2005 11:34 a.m. PST

Lincoln Green or Lincoln "grayne,graine" is actually a shade of red.Lincoln was one of the areas of England that was producing fine quality fabric throughout the Middle ages.The most common type of wool produced in this area was scarlet originally a name given to a type of cloth not a colour,but over the years red cloth produced in Lincoln became known as Scarlet.So the Robin Hood of legend was dressed in finest Lincoln Grayne-red- and Will Scarlet could have originally been in any fine scarlet,(any colour) cloth.

Dunkporc Inactive Member19 Oct 2005 2:10 p.m. PST

Got a support link for that assertion physik?

I'd like to read about that.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member20 Oct 2005 12:19 p.m. PST

Lincoln Green was red?!

Even if this were true once — and I'd wnat to see some more definitive documentation, too — the meaning changed over time to what we would expect today. By the 18th century at the least Lincoln green meant green. I've got someplace some refernces to Elizabethan usages to Lincoln green and it's pretty clear from the context that it means green then, too.

Google "Lincoln green" and you'll find some historical references (but I've yet to see pictorial evidence).

physik Inactive Member20 Oct 2005 4:08 p.m. PST

Hello Dunkporc/Piper909

A good start for English Medieval Colours is"English Medieval Industries -edited by John Blair and Nigel Ramsey.ISBN 1 85285 326 3.

Piper I must have misinterpreted your original post as you asked if it was the same colour as encountered in the middle ages.As you say Lincoln Green was green by Elizabethan times and and the 18th century I would probably agree.But up to and including the early sixteenth century I would go with a red colur as the primary cloth produced in Lincolnshire.Lincoln grayne was a superior broadcloth mainly due to the knap of the cloth and the kermes(the grayne) used to dye it red.

For British army facing coloursyou may be able to get a fairly modern version of a Lincoln green by searching for links with the following regiments.
Devonshire regiment.
1st Sherwood Foresters(notts and Derby)
2nd Sherwoods Foresters(notts and derby)

All had facings of Lincoln Green in 1914 or search under their former regimental numbers the 11th,45th and94th regiments.

Also try a google search for Hainsworths of Leeds.They still make cloth for the British Army ceremonial uniforms and it is p[ossible to get a swatch of material from them if you ask.I have bought cloth from them and they are very helpful.

Hope this is of some help.


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