Monday, August 17, 2015

The Redcoats Are Coming

Bet you didn't know that the red uniforms of British troops are related to bugs and pirates?

A red dye is derived from the dried bodies of cochineal beetles. The dye came from Mexico where the beetles were fed on prickly pear cactus. When a Spanish ship full of the precious dye was seized by the English, Queen Elizabeth used it to dye the uniforms of her troops as a sneer to the Spanish who only used the dye for luxury items and as a gift to the Catholic Church.

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