We’ve reached the end of the rainbow! Today is purple day! (Or indigo and violet day for the nitpickers :p)
Purple is a notoriously difficult color to achieve using natural dyes. It has a tendency to wash out and become pale or trend towards a more reddish color. Because of this most early purple garments were either not truly purple or if they were, they were very expensive and generally reserved for royalty. Hence ‘royal purple’ and ‘born to the purple’.
This lilac ball gown from circa 1820 is a good example of at the pale pastel purple that would result from weak natural dyes. It certainly has a beautiful effect on the gauzy fabric.