Several dense red dyes were used in period, including madder, and brazilwood. With madder dyebaths, the same pot of coloured water would be used until it was nearly colourless. Thus the first few fabrics dyed would be a brilliant dark red, and the last few a pale pink colour. As such, dark/dense reds were for the richer people (or at least the more expensive clothes of the poor), while pink was a colour for cheaper fabrics (mostly).
Sources of period recipes for red dyes
- A Profitable Booke, 1586