LAC (Laccifer lacca formerly Coccus lacca): Historic red-dye insect, found in Southeast Asia, but less prevalent than cochineal; it also produces a dye from the acids in its body (not bug blood). An interesting by-product of lac is the use of its wings to make a crude shellac resin. known in Europe by various names c.1400s. Cennini said lac was artificial but precipitated from organic matter, and knew to ask for ‘fine lac’ for a clear color.
Unrefined lac was used as a Caput Mortuum substitute for medieval illuminations. Lac is ‘natural red 25’ when used as a food coloring. Lightfast on silk and wool.
AKA: [San]: Laksha, raksha. [India]
Amount: 2oz, powder
Alum mordant: rich rose pink
Copper mordant: drab rose
Iron mordant: deep grayed-purple
Tin mordant: merlot wine color
Soda ash: deep purple