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Awesomely Gross Natural Colours

March 27, 2010

Ok, so how’s this for natural?

I was reading an article in Curve magazine by an Industrial Design Lecturer friend of mind that talked about the origin of some common colours. It was just fascinating and quite gross.  Try this for size!

Indian Yellow –  A colour that was a favourite of Dutch artist Vermeer that’s made from the Urine of cows who have been fed a diet of Mango leaves!

A Bright blue – Another Urine linked colour but this time it’s human. Apparently urinating on Woad leaves after a big session helps the leaves ferment. This process brings out a blue colour which can be used in a wide range of applications.

Putred Purple – How would you like to spend your day squishing mucus out of sea snails?  Apparently you end up with a delightful purple colour. Excellent.

Carmine Red – A brilliant RED that is produced by squishing up a special type of beetle- you can read more here.

Paris Green – An extremely toxic arsenic containing pigment that doubles up as rat poison.  Before its toxicity was understood thought it was used to colour paintings, coat houses and even dye cloth.

All natural and all yucky! We all know that natural doesn’t mean safe but understanding why makes for some cool dinner party conversations.

Have fun and don’t stress too much, only one of the above is used in cosmetics….

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