Natural red dye from Lac Insect. Dye colours - reds, burgundys, deep purples, scarlets and crimsons. Lac Raw Powder is not an extract dye but ground raw material and not readily soluble. The best way to extract the colour is to place the Raw Powder into a fine cloth bag, tie off securely and boil. Once you have extracted as much colour as possible just dispose of the bag. Otherwise the residual powder goes very hard and sticks to most things including your fibre . . . it’s very very hard to remove, even from metal.
Lac - is a red dye extract from the scale insect Laccifer lacca which is found throughout India, south east Asia, Nepal, Burma, Bhutan and south China. It is found both in the wild and cultivated. The female lac insects invade host trees (mainly fig and acacia) and the insect secretes a resin that contains the red dye.
When harvested, the resin is taken off the branches and is known as stick lac. The resin is also used to make shellac. Lac extract yields crimsons to burgundy reds to deep purples. Lac is similar to cochineal but the are softer and more muted.
It has high light and wash fastness on silk and wool but lower fastness on cellulose.Use 5 to 8% for medium depth. Mordant with 15% WOF on protein fibre. Mordant with 8% Tannin and 15% Alum on Cellulose.
Before 1856, Natural dyes were used in time honoured techniques (as far back as 1500BC) but once synthetic dyes were became commercially viable textile dyers and artisans moved from traditional natural dyes to synthetic dyes to colour their cloth and fibre.
The Natural Dye range will dye any natural fibre using a handful of non-toxic mordants and additives to help fix the dye and also give you more colour variations. Natural dyeing is very much about reconnecting with the past - apart from using the plant materials you have at hand in your own garden, there are a number of traditional Natural Dyes and extracts including Indigo, Madder, Cochineal and Fustic.
By combining different dyes, mordants and depths of shade, you will produce an amazing palette of deep to subtle pastel colours. We hope you enjoy your Natural Dyeing adventure!