Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is Lac?

Lac is a resinous substance secreted by a crimson-red, scaly tiny insect called the ‘Laccifer Lacca’. This insect about 0.5 mm long lives and thrives on the shoots of Lac trees and Ber trees.The other name of lac tree is Kusum. Lac is also obtained from Palas and the Ber trees also. The Lac obtained from the Lac tree is considered to be the best. There are four croups of lac named after the months in which the collection of each crop begins.

Lac-popularly know as shellac- has been known to man from very early times. Until the aniline dyes were introduced to markets, man used to get crimson-red dye from crude lac, which was utilized for coloring wool, silk and leather. Besides, it was used by women as Allta- a red colored liquid- to decorate their hands and feet.

Lac is used in the manufacture of gramophone records, electrical appliances, adhesives cement, printing ink etc.

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