Trying for Purples: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions

I’m trying to replicate the purples in my mobile, my entry for China (no word). I’m spending the weekend working with cochineal trying for purples. The reds were first—I went the wrong way with the pH but really got a red red which I wanted at first. Then I dyed another batch for the pinks. Now, for the purples. Before that I mordanted everything in alum.

Here are the reds and then the after-processes I tried: copper, iron, ammonia with more or less time in time in the baths. I have some asparagus pots which are perfect for sampling small bathes.

Here are the purples I got from the reds. I have more I can dye but want to decide which colors I want to dye for real.

Here are the pinks and the resulting shades using copper, iron, ammonia again in after-baths.

A closer look at the samples. Next, the decisions.


In the light of day none of these are what I want. I’m starting over making a new batch of dye working with the Chines recipe for cochineal crimson instead of scarlet.

As usual the undegummed samples dyed darker than the silky (degummed) silks.

5 thoughts on “Trying for Purples: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions”

  1. Hi Peggy
    Cheryl Kolander has logwood that gives very vibrant purples. Fyi. Looks like you’re having great fun. Peace. D Taylor, DVM

  2. I had to go back and look at your submission. Some of the purples in last two images do look close. Love the bricky reds in middle row, 2nd photo, though I think your original submission was less deep.

    They are all glorious, I was those leftover samples. LOL.

    Can’t wait to see what is next!


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