Purple dyeing can be done through the use of purple snails, mainly Bolius randaris and Hexaplex trunculus. Often specified as Tyrian purple, in ancient times, it was highly desired, very prestigious, and expensive. The method was probably discovered in the 12th century by the Phoenicians on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean and eventually spread to Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire. After the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453, the purple dyeing with the use of snails dyed out in the Mediterranean. Now, it can be seen only in the Pacific coast of Mexico. In ancient times, snails were removed from their shells, the hypobrochial gland was cut out, salted, and then processed. In modern times, a more humane process is used, which does not require the killing of the snails.
Food coloring adds brightness and interest to food. However, commercial colorings are made from dangerous chemicals that can cause harm to the body. If you want to enhance your food but are not interested in the toxic side-effects, consider using natural food coloring. Natural food colorings are becoming more popular and can be purchased from a wide number of distributors, or made at home with common spices and vegetables.
Spending most of her schooling in Philadelphia is why McTear decided to stay in the area and open her studio locally, first having one on Carpenter Street, but now in the process of opening a larger one in her newly purchased home. Even as a local artist, McTear said most of her work is inspired by the time she spent traveling with her family.
Ever since my son was born with life threatening food allergies and eczema, we knew that we needed to avoid toxins and eat as natural as possible. I started making everything from scratch, including dairy-free milk, homemade seasonings, and even ketchup, plus making whole food substitutes for things like DORITOS®, marshmallows, and white chocolate chips.
Natural dyes can be sorted into three categories: natural dyes obtained from plants (indigo), those obtained from animals (cochineal), and those obtained from minerals (ocher). Creating and using plant-based-dyes is a wonderful way to gain an understanding of the biology and the chemistry at work in the plants around us.
Dyes dissolve in liquids. This gives them the ability to stain porous materials such as cloth or wood. Pigments do not dissolve but instead disperse as very fine particles. They have very limited staining power on their own and need an additional binder to make the particles adhere once the liquid medium has evaporated or dried.