Real Color Wheel

Jusko’s Real Color Wheel

Artists and Color Experts have taken the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum and joined the colors end to end to form what is called a Color Wheel.





color wheel formation

How a Color Wheel is formed

That color wheel has evolved into a wide variety of shapes and sizes to describe variations in hue or color, value or lightness, and saturation or brightness.

Chromaticity Diagram

Chromaticity Diagram

The reason this is brought up under the color Violet is because descriptions of the violet hue often range anywhere between the blue and red extremes of the purple-violet range.  That range can be seen in some of the slideshow photos below.  As a matter of fact, the visible spectrum is often, more correctly, described to go from blue to indigo to violet.

Here there is a more clear distinction between the blue-purple side described as indigo versus the red-violet side described as violet.


(click on any picture for more information)

In Life, Violet/Purple is often associated with Royalty.  (The actual color of Tyrian purple, the original color purple from which the name purple is derived, is the color of a dye made from a mollusc that in classical antiquity became a symbol of royalty because only the very wealthy could afford it.)

Royal Purple

We see the epitome of “royal purple” in the Roman persecution of the one and only, true King of mankind – Jesus:  from the Gospel of John, Chapter 19:1-2  “Then Pilate took Jesus and had him scourged.  And the soldiers wove a crown out of thorns and placed it on his head, and clothed him in a purple cloak,”  Though it was performed as a mockery, no better vestment could befit the King of Kings, our Lord!

In Life, the color Violet is observed throughout nature.  We see it in flowers, birds, sunsets, fish, butterflies, cabbage, mushrooms and gems.

Burgandy Violet Bruise

And if that wall just happens to jump into our face when we’re not looking, we might even see some purple on our foreheads or around our eyes in the “black and blue” bruises that follow. We might also think of those bruises as a symbol of our sharing in the suffering of Christ, as we also share in His royalty, as “sons and daughters of God.”


Violet is truly an “awesome” Life Color!

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Natural Violet:

Orcein Lichen

Orcein:  The Canary Islands consist of 7 islands about 100 miles west of the coast of Morocco.  Spaniards conquered the area and migrated to the islands in the 15th and 16th century.  By the 18th century the islands were controlled by nobles.  The main product of the islands was the production of orchil, a lichen that produces a violet dye.




Orcein, also archil, orchil, lacmus, litmus, Citrus Red 2, and C.I. Natural Red 28, are names for dyes extracted from several species of lichen, also called orchella weeds, found in various parts of the world. The manufacture was described by Cocq in 1812 and in the UK in 1874. Commercial archil is either a powder (called cudbear) or a paste. It is red in acidic pH and blue in alkaline pH.

Orcein is approved as a food dye, with E number E121. Its CAS number is [1400-62-0].  The chemical components of orcein were elucidated only in the 1950s by Hans Musso. Orcein is a reddish-brown dye. It is also used as a stain in microscopy to visualize elastic fibers, Hepatitis B surface antigens and copper associated proteins.

Roccella Tinctoria

Orcinol is extracted from orchil lichen, Roccella tinctoria.

It is then converted to orcein by ammonia and air.  If the conversion is carried out in the presence of K2CO3, Ca(OH)2 and CaSO4, the result is litmus, a more complex molecule.







Orchil is a purple-blue dye.

Violet Dye

Cudbear is a dye extracted from orchil lichens that produces colours in the purple range. It can be used to dye wool and silk, without the use of mordant.

Cudbear Color Sample Sheet (1765)

Cudbear was developed by Dr Cuthbert Gordon of Scotland: production began in 1758, and it was patented in 1758, British patent 727.

Pompadore Bird

The manufacturing details were carefully protected, with a ten-feet high wall being built around the manufacturing facility, and staff consisting of Highlanders sworn to secrecy. Today we know that it can be made in the following manner:

The lichen is first boiled in a solution of ammonium carbonate. The mixture is then cooled and ammonia is added and the mixture is kept damp for 3-4 weeks. Then the lichen is dried and ground to powder.

VIOLET Parr, “Incredibles”

After manufacture of the dye began, lichen consumption soon reached 250 tons per year and import from Norway and Sweden had to be arranged.  Cudbear was the first dye to be invented in modern times, and one of the few dyes to be credited to a named individual.

A similar process was invented in France. The lichen is extracted by ammonia. Then the extract is acidified, the dissolved dye precipitates and is washed. Then it is dissolved in ammonia again, the solution is heated in air until it becomes purple, then it is precipitated with calcium chloride; the resulting insoluble purple solid is known as French purple, a fast lichen dye that did not fade in light like the other lichen dyes.

So why did they dress Violet Parr in red??  Your guess is as good as mine.  Maybe we can try to recolor that outfit.  Oh, but watch out for copyrights!!


Saint Lydia Purpuraria

Feast Day  3 August

St Lydia was a business woman who lived in Thyatira (today’s Turkey), she dealt in purple cloth, the most expensive type in the 1st century Middle East.
She was St. Paul’s first known convert.

Her last name means, purple seller (= purpuraria)
and she is the patron saint of dyers.

For a little more on St. Lydia visit “Daily Mass Quotes – May 2013” (May 6th)

From Acts 16:13-15 –

On the sabbath we (St Paul) went outside the city gate along the river where we thought there would be a place of prayer. We sat and spoke with the women who had gathered there. One of them, a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth, from the city of Thyatira, a worshiper of God, listened, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying. After she and her household had been baptized, she offered us an invitation, “If you consider me a believer in the Lord, come and stay at my home,” and she prevailed on us.

...    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .    .

Link to Violet Music

Click picture for link to Violet Songs


Links to other Life Colors pages:



Thank you for visiting Violet!

3 Responses to Violet

  1. Andre says:

    You got great points there, that’s why I always love checking out your blog.

    My blog:
    Regroupement De Credit aussi credit Rachat De Credit

    • Joe says:

      Thank you so much Andre! Your English is much much better than my French, so I didn’t get very far with your blog. I’m guessing you’re in the finance business. Thank you for visiting. Cordialement, Joe

  2. purple says:

    hi joe, i love purple. nice blog u got here. keep it up and keep in touch.

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