Bleached shellac flakes
Shellac is a resinous mass that originates from the female lac bug that lives on trees in forests of India & Thailand
The lacquer louse is primarily found in India, where it lives on various tree species and feeds on the sap from branches and leaves. It secretes a viscous substance on the branches, which dries into a solid mass. This solid mass, called the stick varnish, is broken off and collected. From the cane lacquer, the "kernel lacquer" is produced by crushing and filtering, from which the shellac is extracted.
The lac dye is repeatedly washed with hot water, whereby a red dye called Lac Dye is extracted. After washing out, the mass is cast in a thin layer on hot metal plates. The cooled and hardened shellac skins are placed on top of each other and crushed into flakes.
The flakes can be dissolved in alcohol and used to make nail varnish. A bleached and filtered shellac dissolved in alcohol can be used as a polish for e.g. bright furniture.