The Thing About Purple…
One reason purple became the color for royalty was that it was prohibitively expensive. A Phoenician recipe for Tyrian purple, dated 1600 BC, involved crushing the glands of murex sea snails: 12,000 were required to make a single gram of the stuff (umm…YEAH!) then the fluid was mixed with wood, ash and urine and fermented (not a recipe that you’ll find on YouTube, BTW)….we suggest, not to try this out at home!
Cleopatra used purple for the sails of her barge, her sofas and drapes, which impressed Julius Caesar who decided that henceforth it would be an exclusively royal color – a practice maintained under the emperors. This tradition survived throughout the Middle Ages and Renaissance and soon the color Purple was associated with class and status. So, much so, later, in the Elizabethan era, only the queen and her relations could wear purple, while commoners were restricted mainly to earthy colors.
This all changed in 1857 when 18-year-old chemistry student William Henry Perkin discovered how to produce synthetic purple dye by combining coal tar with aniline (GO William!!). He patented it, called it ‘mauveine’ and it was soon mass produced – prompting a craze that Punch magazine called “the mauve measles”.
Purple in Home Decor
Purple, lilac and lavender are not the most popular range of colors, but certainly are the most spectacular colors in the modern interior design trend.
Today purple is one of the trendiest colors! Subtle blend of blue and red, purple matches a wide palette of colors to create an original and very modern atmosphere.