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  • "Dyers also put a premium on Armenian red, which was made from the insect Porphyrophora hameli, a parasite on the roots and stems of certain grasses in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, and Iran. Like St John's blood, Armenian red was difficult to harvest.... First mentioned in the eighth century BC, Armenian red was highly prized by the Assyrians and the Persians, despite the insects' high fat content, which made the dyeing process more difficult. In medieval Europe, many considered it the finest red dyestuff of all."

    Amy Butler Greenfield, A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire (New York: Harper Collins, 2005), 30.

    More context/info can be found on oak-kermes, including stuff about kermesic acid and carminic acid and cool stuff like that.

    October 4, 2017