The search for the Armenian color – Vordan Karmir

PeopleOfAr

Vordan Karmir - Armenian kermes crimson dye

The color that once mesmerized the old world, extracted from an insect known to Europeans as Kermes and Kirmiz to the Arabs, has its roots in the Armenian Ararat valley. It is the ancient symbol of power and admiration, essence of beauty and goodness. The lowly scale bug, lies at the center of the creation of one of the most rare and special pigments known to man.  The secret of the preparation of the truly permanent dye, one which defies the destructive forces of light, temperature, humidity and time, was kept by our Armenian ancestors for over 2,000 years, passing it down from generation to generation. Tragically, the secret was lost only 100 years ago as artificial dyes gained broader acceptance among consumers. Seven colors, ranging from dark-blue through blackberry to Jaffa-orange have been extracted but one yet remains illusive. The missing tone is the same shade of truest crimson that made “Araratean…

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