Cochineal (dactylopus coccus)

Color: Reds, warm purples, oranges.

Source: insect


Using whole bugs:

Place whole bugs in knee-high stocking. Immerse to cover in simmering bath. Cochineal needs to boil 1 hour to obtain color.  For wool keep close to boiling point being careful to avoid felting.  Distilled water is recommended.

Using Cochineal Extracts:

Cochineal will dye less satisfactorily to its darkest shade using hard water. Distilled water is recommended for best results.  The pot needs to reach boil boiling for 1 hour to obtain good color.


Best color is attained on protein fibers. Altering the pH of the dye pot will yield a variety of colors.