All posts tagged: cochineal

cochineal and shibori

but where does it come from? Bugs. Yes, little scaly bugs that live on prickly pear cacti in the desert. Once dried and ground up to a fine powder (I use an old coffee grinder). These little critters give off the most stunning colours from the palest, softest pinks to the deepest crimson. I ground my bugs a few days ago, and brought them to a near-boil then left to cool for 24 hours. During which time their colour releases to create a deep crimson liquid. I strained it through a silk lined sieve and saved the ‘pulp’ to try and use again. Cochineal will produce a variety of colours dependant on the mordant used. In this dye bath, I used Alum. I tossed in a few silk cocoons, as they make such a lovely colour reference, and will surely be used in a project one day. Once I had the colour I was looking for, I rinsed and centrifuged the silk and let is dry. After drying completely, I undid the resists and carefully …