Cochineal Red: The Art History of a Color

Lecture by Elena Phipp, Textile Historian

Uploaded on Jun 28, 2010

Explore color through science, art history, and the Met's collection. This event is held in conjunction with the World Science Festival taking place in New York City this weekend. Speakers are Elena Phipps, textile historian and Barbara Berrie, conservation scientist, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Learn more about the World Science Festival.

Cochineal Red Dye - The Use of Cochineal Beetles as Fabric Dye in Chinchero, Peru.

Natural Fabric Dyes - A skilled Quechua woman demonstrating the use of cochineal beetles and other natural ingredients in dyeing wool. They are skilled weavers using traditional wooden hand looms and craft out beautifully weaved blankets, scarves, shawls, sweaters, beanies and babies' clothes.

Cochineal Insect Dye

The Zapotec have been using cochineal to dye their textiles for over 1000 years.  In this video, Porfirio Gutiérrez and his family show the techniques that have been handed down to them by their ancestors.

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Dreamy Goat Design Studio - Dyeing with Cochineal Insect

The first step in dyeing with cochineal insect is to extract the color from the little bugs. This video shows how to do it two ways—one for bright red-purple and the other for a classic red.