Before modern chemistry stepped in, purple was a difficult color to produce. The Greeks squeezed it out of shellfish; squeezing 8,500 of the mollusks produced one gram of dye. Not exactly an eco-friendly endeavor, the dye-getting process was necessarily expensive. Only royalty could afford it, and indeed, it was illegal for non-royals to wear purple clothing. Wearing purple became a sign of defiance and in some ways, remains so.
From the 15th to the 18th centuries, purple was obtained from plants and insects. It wasn’t until 1859 that William Perkin, an 18-year-old chemistry student discovered how to synthesize artificial color. It’s a fascinating story told in the book, Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World
As our ability to produce purple pigment has improved, it has moved from clothing to paint and plastics. It is the familiar glow of many of our modern electronic devices. It is warm and delicious and daring. A collection of purple-hued Trendhunter finds is below.
As Shug says in The Color Purple, “I think it pisses God off when you walk by the color purple in a field and don’t notice it. ...”
We certainly wouldn’t want that!
41 Purple-Hued Objects to Admire
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Take Note! Purple is Everywhere, from Cities to Watermelon
Published: Jan 6, 2009