Cochineal is one of the most colour fast of all natural dyes, and a little goes a long way to making brilliant pinks, magentas and reds.
Cochineal was one of the first ever sources of red dye. The cochineal insect is native to Mexico and Central America, and in the 16th century became one of the world's most valuable commodities! It was so rare and expensive that only nobility could afford wear it- yet even so, some countries created laws to prevent lower classes from wearing royal reds and purple just in case.
This listing includes 10g of dehydrated cochineal in a recycled paper envelop. 10g of cochineal will dye 500g of natural fibres a medium shade of red/pink.
Crush cochineal before using. In order to ensure colour fastness, cochineal should be used with a mordant such as alum or iron.
As with most natural dyes, the colours will be stronger on protein fibres such as wool or silk. Cochineal on cellulose fibres like cotton and linen tend to be paler and more subdued. Synthetic fibres tend not to take up natural dyes.
Equipment and Safety
Pre mix each dye vat ingredient in small containers of water to avoid lumps. Always add powder to liquid, not liquid to powder (to prevent powder from flying everywhere). Wear gloves and an apron to avoid staining your hands and clothes. Always dye in a well ventilated area and use separate pots and utensils from your cooking pots.
** Please note: none of the fibres or jars are included. This listing is for 10g of cochineal in a paper envelop.