cochineal and iron

cochineal and iron

Technologically, the dye collection and isolation process was moderately tedious and the amount of dye extracted low for the effort and cost. After a quick dip in the dye bath modified with iron water the silk turned grey. In the following April and early May, larvae emerge from the eggs and leave the soil briefly to feed on the new grass. The Capitularies of Charlemagne, according to Donkin, R.A., have the earliest mention of Polish Cochineal (vermiculo) in the West (812 A.D.). According to Donkin, R.A., the research work of Pfister establishes the earliest documentation for Polish Cochineal dye in textiles, those found in Egypt and Syria, dating to Hellenistic-Roman times. Remove the fiber or yarn and pour the iron water by mixing a 1:1 ratio of the iron water and clear water. Amazing! “The Cochineal (Dactylopius coccus) is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crimson-coloured dye carmine is derived. A deep crimson dye is extracted from the female cochineal insects. Urartu*- After the fall of the Hittite empire, at the beginning of the first millennium B.C., kingdom of Urartu was formed in eastern Anatolia, which was to survive for 300 years. Purity of colour is ensured by the absence of iron. In September and October, the cochineal of Azerbaijan emerges from the soil very early in the morning and mates. These  insects are biologically different from each other: The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Cochineal is used to produce scarlet, orange and other red tints too. Of all the Asiatic insect dye substances, kermes was the most costly and labor-intensive, except for possibly the Polish Cochineal. Charles V ordered that samples be sent to Spain, and Cortez proceeded to establish a tribute system in Mexico for the pigment. In this example I dyed different kinds of silk using acorns to 300% weight of fabric (WOF). Sargon II (right), king of Assyria (r. 722 - 705 BC), with the crowned prince, Sennacherib(left). This process yields a bright red colour which is fast. Aurochs on a cave painting in Lascaux, France. Lac insects settle closely on the twigs of certain host trees, suck the plant sap and grow, all the while secreting lac resin from their bodies. All evidence indicates that its use was confined to expensive textiles and apparel. According to Dr. Paul Mushak, an expert in chemical analysis of rug dyes, lac dye “…was the principal red dye used in classical Persian (Iranian) carpets...” Lac was primarily used to dye silk, yielding a range of colors from rose to purple. Ahmad Ibn Yahya al-Baladuri (Balazuri) (d. ca. Lac encrustations are removed from the twigs of host plants by scraping. It could have been grey had I left it less time. This type of insect, a primarily sessile parasite, lives on cacti from the genus Opuntia, feeding on moisture and nutrients in the cacti. "...cochineal is found in the barren steppes of Ganja province (of Azerbaijan) and in the swamps and salt marshes of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhichevan (part of Azerbaijan) in the Araz valley, where the rural population in peacetime (pre-World War I) collected up to 500 puds (9 tons) a year." The Egyptians were manufacturing pigments on a large scale by 4,000 BC, and the Chinese developed costly pigments such as Vermilion 2,000 years before it was rediscovered by the Romans. An English translation of the writing of German geographer Friedrich Parrott, ca. Urartu, who were closely related to the Hurrians and Hittites in origin. After you have dyed your fabric with your natural dye, allow the dye bath to cool to room temperature. One kilo of cochineal is added to warm water until it has the consistency of milk. of dyeing wool with cochineal While there is little specific evidence that Polish Cochineal dye was used in any category of Oriental rug, its presence in the market at the time certain rug types were made would be a complicating factor in drawing conclusions about insect dye use. Lakes are also made by directly precipitating cochineal extract with solutions of potassium carbonate and alum. Purity of colour is ensured by the absence of iron. Pour water and white vinegar to cover the objects. Vermeer was lavish in his choice of expensive pigments, including Indian Yellow, lapis lazuli, and Carmine, as shown in this vibrant painting. b) The Kermes Insect: Entomology and Geography To this writer, however, either Kirmiz or Polish Cochineal sources were possible. All Rights Reserved for Iranpazirik © 2000 - 2018, geographer and historian Hamdullah Gazvini, 1.3) AMERICAN (SPANISH) COCHINEAL - DACTYLOPIUS COCCUS. The insects were harvested shortly before the female larvae reached maturity, i.e. 1100 B.C.) Evergreen oaks which might have included the kermes host oak species were known to the Hebrews. Ancient Slavs developed a method of obtaining red dye from the larvae of the Polish cochineal. Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bīrūnī  (973-1048 A.D.) and Hamzah Al-Isfahani (d. 961) mentions about the production of insect dye in Azerbaijan. Her cargo contained 20,000 pounds of Cochineal” (Dutton, Ibid.). This gets me to believe that adding iron to the bath would bring out the purple tones that cochineal is known so well for. This probably accounts for early writers identifying the source of kermes as a plant rather than an animal. According to Whiting, M.C., lac from India was the source of the scarlet red in classical Persian carpets, paralleling the use of lac in Mamluk carpets. It takes from 155 000 to 250 000 insects to make one kilogram of cochineal. By 1536, the royal Cochineal tribute amounted to 6,300 pounds of dye, and, when it was discovered that Cochineal was superior to Kermes and could be acquired in larger quantities by using cheaper labor, demand for the pigment ballooned and Cochineal became Spain’s second most profitable export item from the New World. Copyright © University of California, Santa Barbara | The Regents of the University of California | Terms of Use | Credits | Sitemap | Privacy All categories of the Coccoidea have quite specific host- parasite relationships. Lac Resin (a polyester complex of straight-chain hydroxy fatty acids and sesquiterpenic acids), Lac Wax (a mixture of higher alcohols, acids and their esters), Lac Dye (a mixture of anthroquinoid derivatives). Scientifically, the cochineal dyestuff from this New World coccid is carminic acid, the same chemical species found in both the Polish (Porphyrophora polonica) and Kirmiz coccids (Porphyrophora hamelii). Lakes are thus formed. c) Dactylopius coccus or Coccus Cacti- The cochineal dye which is originated in Spanish America or in other Spanish territories, from a cactus-feeding insect, and was used in certain rugs and textiles of the Caucasus, Persia, and Turkey. Cortez’s soldiers reported seeing great quantities of cochineal offered for sale in what today is Mexico City, and “there was immediate interest in this bright scarlet dye, for it was quickly recognized by the Spanish invaders as resembling the European red dye Kermes.

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