Lac – Lac (Laccifer lacca) extract comes from a scale insect known from antiquity throughout India, Southeast Asia, Nepal and China. The deep red colorant is extracted from a hard resinous crude shellac before it can be successfully used as a dye. So the resin is known as shellac. It is used for lacquer and in addition as a protective covering for wood. Lac dye was used to color silk and dye leather and was mentioned as early as 250 AD. Lac extract is an affordable alternative to obtain pinks, purples and burgundy reds on protein fibers using an alum mordant. However, you will need a small amount of citric acid to use with lac.
- 50 grams of lac extract will dye approximately 500 grams of fiber (1.1 pounds) to a dark shade
From our Feedback Friday series:
I’ve used cochineal before but would love to play around with another “red”-what would you suggest?
Lac is another insect dye that produces pink and red. Use 10 to 15% for darker shades and be sure to combine the dye with citric acid when dissolving and let the mixture settle prior to adding to the dye pot. Lac contains a lot of sediment which can cause uneven dye results.