Where the Colors Come From
Red, Violet, and Sienna:
These colors are obtained from cochinilla. Cochinilla is an insect that lives on cactus. The cochinilla is dried and ground up in a mortar. The ground cochinilla is put in boiling water. Yarn is added to the water and left there until the wool has fully absorbed the color.
Yellow and Ocher:
Many plants give the color yellow. It comes from pomegranate skin, the pirul tree, the pericón plant and in some cases moss.
The color blue comes from the leaves of the anil plant. This plant is found in Vera Cruz. People come from the Isthmus to sell us the plant.
Alfalfa and chamise make up the principal components, but the color green really comes from a mixture of colors.
The color brown comes mainly from tree bark. The nogal, a nut tree, is often used. We use the nut shells, the leaves from the tree, and the bark.
The color purple comes from sea snails. We purchase the dye already in liquid form. We organize ourselves so that one or two of us go to the coast to purchase the color for the group.
This color comes from mixing cochinilla (red), nut shells (brown), and pomegranate skin (yellow).
Sepia to Black:
The huizache plant provides this range of tones.
Lemon juice, salt, and clay are added to fix the colors.