c. 1748 (alteted ca 1780) gown of black silk with brocaded floral motifs. Note, the black has faded to brown. It was impossible to dye any textile true black until chemical dyes were invented in the mid 19th century. Further, black natural dyes were very harsh and literally disintegrated fibers over time. Thus, its rare to find any intact black textile made before the mid 19th century.