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Cochineal Textile Dye - Red Hues

Jacquard Cochineal Textile Dye for all natural fibres ✔︎ beautiful strong shades of red & violet ☆ 100% organic: high light and wash fastness ☆ more
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Content: 22 Gram (€0.84* / 1 Gram)

Available, delivery time: 1-3 days

See red with Cochineal - in many awesome shades  

Cochineal by Jacquard is a 100% natural dye product - one of the oldest and most versatile dyes in the world. 
This dye has an excellent light and wash fastness and creates a beautiful palette of reds, scarlets, violets, fuchsias and purples. 
Cochineal is resistant on all natural fibres and is used like an acid dye or with a mordant (e.g. alum).  
The dye (carminic acid) is obtained from the bodies of female insects of the species Dactylopius Coccus. The insects are bred on prickly pear cacti (nopal) which are native to Mexico, Central and South America. 
Jacquard's Cochineal is farmed in a small, family-owned and operated organic farm cooperative outside Lima, Peru. 

Cochineal -Farbkarte - Colour chart - Nuancier

These fibres can be dyed with cochineal:

All natural fibres such as: cotton, linen, silk, canvas, hemp, wool, viscose etc.
It dyes silk and wool particularly well and intensively.

How do I dye with Cochineal?


The preparation for the Cochineal Dye is somewhat more elaborate than dyeing with a modern, chemical textile dye. However, your dye result is of an incredible colour brilliance and also 100% natural and organic.

You need:
• Cochineal granules
• Alum
• Possibly cream of tartar 
• Possibly vinegar (white vinegar or vinegar essence)
• Possibly soda
• A large stainless steel pot 
• Preserving jar or measuring jug for liquids 
• Rubber gloves
• Dust mask

If you want to dye wool yarn (this applies to all yarns), wind your yarn into skeins if you haven't already done so.  
Tie the skeins together in places so that they do not get tangled in the dye bath. You can then place the yarn in a bath with cold water to soak it while the mordant liquid is prepared. 

Mordanting of the fabrics:

We recommend to mordant the fibres before dyeing with alum as it is a non toxic mordant that is easy to work with.  Alum also helps to develop clear bright colours with natural dyes. 

1. In a (dye) pot, dissolve 2 teaspoons of alum in 1 liter of water (120 gram of alum for 3 liters of water). Make sure you use a stainless steel pot.
2. Optionally, you can add 1/2 teaspoon (20g) of tartar to lighten the colour and keep the wool soft (it also transforms the shade from a fuchsia purple to an intense red). 
3. Stir well to dissolve everything. 
4. Place the fibres/clothes into the dye pot and stir carefully until the heat has reached 80-95° C (little bubbles should rise at the edges). Please avoid strong stirring otherwise the fibres will become tangled or matted. 
5. Keep this temperature for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, then leave to cool. 
6. Take the fibres out of the dye pot, carefully drain the excess liquid and leave to cool. You can also leave the fibres in the mordant bath to cool overnight. You can dye the fibres/textiles immediately or let them dry and dye them later.  
Hints: Wear gloves while working with alum. If you leave the fibres overnight in the mordant bath, make sure they are completely covered by the alum liquid. 

Making Cochineal Dye:

1. Grind the Cochineal granules with a mortar or hand blender etc.
2. Bring the ground Cochineal powder to the boil with 500ml of water in a pot and simmer for a further 10-15 minutes (add 1 teaspoon of cream of tartar if necessary).
3. Strain the coloured solution (e.g. into a glas bowl).
4. Leave the cochineal residues in the pot, add water and repeat step 2 until the cochineal powder no longer gives off much colour. Repeat this process 3 to 4 times. Dispose of the cochineal residue afterwards.  
5. The bright red liquid is the dye bath. Pour the liquid in your dye pot. 

Dyeing with Cochineal:

1. Place the wet yarn treated with mordant (or the garment) in the dye bath and bring slowly to the boil (if your yarn is dry, soak it in cold water to moisten it before dyeing). 
2. Keep the temperature on the lowest level (85°C) for at least 30 minutes to one hour, stirring carefully from time to time. If you see little bubbles at the edge of the pot, you have the right temperature in the dye bath. 
3. Turn the heat off and let the yarn cool in the dye liquor until it has reached the desired colour shade.  


1. Take the yarn carefully out of the dye bath and place it in a bath with clear water at approximately the same temperature as the dye bath. This is the first of several rinsing baths needed to remove the excess dye from the yarn. 
(The same temperature is very important as you must never 'shock' textiles during the dye process).  
2. Stir the yarn carefully in the rinsing bath to remove excess dye. Be particularly careful with wool, as it felts easily.  
3. We recommend Synthrapol or another neutral detergent for the pre- and after-treatment of the fabric to avoid unexpected colour changes.

Very important tips:

• You can add water to the dye liquor without reducing the colour strength. If for example you want to dye a big garment, just add some water. 

• Do not pour away the dye liquor! You can keep it in the fridge in a canning jar for about a week (make sure to label and date it!). Cochineal is a very strong dye and dyes large amounts of fibre. You can use it until the dye bath is pale pink. 

• You can also save the remains of the mordant. Pour it into a labelled bucket or a jar and add another 1/2 teaspoon of alum to bring out the full binding properties again next time. Some dyers use their mordants up to 6 or 7 times. When the liquid becomes cloudy or flaky, it is time to discard it. 

• For cellulosic fibres, some dyers recommend pretreating the fabric with tannin (8%). Adding tartar (6%) to the mordant solution will shift the resulting colours towards a stronger red. An addition of iron (2-4%) shifts the colour towards violet. 

• Cochineal reacts to pH value fluctuations. The rich carmine red can be changed to orange by adding an acid (vinegar or citric acid). Adding alkali (soda) will change the colour to a deep fuchsia. Use Synthrapol or another neutral detergent for the pre- and after-treatment of the fabric to avoid unexpected colour changes.

Much success and good luck with your wonderful red dyeings. 

Content: 28g / 113g 

Selling unit: 1 piece (28g or 113g)

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