So I was at my friend's house who was hosting my indigo dye workshop and she was like:
"Check out the moldy cactus in my backyard!"
I was like, "That's not fungus! That's one of the brightest natural dyes... Cochineal!"
Cochineal is an insect that has a symbiotic relationship with the prickly pear cacti. It sucks nutrients out of the Cactus creating a crismon colored dye. It's looks pretty gnarly, but it gives such a range of beautiful red and violet hues. Commonly used for food coloring and lipsticks coloring! We are scraping some cochineal for our Valentine's shop coming soon! Crimson lip balm to come! For all those kisses your gonna give and receive!