Who invented the color palette

Colors and dyes have always existed. How they're made, however, has changed dramatically over the centuries.

Cave paintings show that people worked with paint as early as 30,000 years ago. They used finely ground earth and minerals, which they mixed with vegetable juices or animal fat. Over the centuries, more and more natural dyes of vegetable, mineral or animal origin were discovered. These include turmeric, hemoglobin and sepia.

The production of colors was usually complex and time-consuming, many colors were precious and therefore only reserved for a small group of people. If a dye could only be obtained with great difficulty and was therefore very expensive, only a certain section of the population could afford it. That is why color production has a certain status in the cultural history of mankind.

The color purple was obtained from the so-called purple snail.

Saffron yellow was made from the pistil jars of saffron.

Until the advent of synthetic dyes, lapis lazuli and a mineral called azurite were used to produce the color blue.

The dye indigo is obtained from the indigo plant. It is still used today to dye blue jeans.

Pigments are a fine-grained powder that is added to achieve the desired shade and coverage.

Purple like the royal robes

One of the most valuable dyes - since ancient times - was purple. It was obtained from a whitish secretion from a small gland of the purple snail. When exposed to the sun and air, the secretion gradually changes to purple. Dyeing the wool for a single tunic required the secretion of 10,000 snails - a laborious and time-consuming procedure. So it is not surprising that only emperors, kings and later church leaders wore purple robes. A possibility of producing the dye synthetically was only discovered at the beginning of the 20th century.

Our Pinterest board shows that red tones like purple also have a special effect as wall paint.

Yellow like saffron

Saffron yellow was almost as valuable as purple. In ancient China, only the emperor and Buddhist monks were allowed to wear the color. It was obtained from the pistil vessels of saffron, a crocus that blooms in autumn. It is true that 8000 flowers were needed for 100 grams of the threads, but saffron has an extremely strong coloring power.

Blue as the color of the gods

Another color that has not lost its popularity over the centuries is blue - a color that in many cultures represents divinity. Until the advent of synthetic dyes, lapis lazuli and a mineral called azurite were used. But plants were also used, in Europe for example the domestic woad. In order for the plant to release its color, it was fermented in pots with human urine. From the 15th century, the dye indigo came to Europe from India, which was obtained from the indigo plant. It is still used today to dye blue jeans.

Unlike in Europe, the color black has a good image in Africa because it symbolizes the fertile earth.

In the article you can learn more about the symbolism of colors:

Synthetic paints consist of binders, pigments, fillers, solvents and water.

Synthetic paint production

It was only since the 18th century that humans have been producing artificial dyes. This has greatly increased the number of colors available and now tens of thousands of different shades can be produced. In addition, the durability of synthetic colors is often higher and their production - thanks to modern technologies and processing systems - more cost-effective.

Today's synthetic paints consist of binders, pigments, fillers, solvents and water. The binders hold the raw materials of the paint together and ensure that the paint adheres to the substrate. Pigments are a fine-grained powder that is added to achieve the desired shade and coverage. The fillers, also a fine-grained powder, give the paint the desired visual appearance and application properties. Water and solvents ensure that the paint can be applied sparingly to the substrate. Inorganic substances such as earth, rock, crystals and minerals are used to produce the paint, but also organic substances from plants or animals - just like hundreds of years ago.