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AT ITS HEIGHT IN THE 16th and 17th centuries, the Ottoman Empire stretched through Central Asia to the Balkans on one axis, and from the Middle East down to North Africa on the other. There, Greeks, Albanians, Armenians, and Bulgarians traded materials and traditions with Turks, Syrians, and Egyptians. Silks from Aleppo and Damascus, muslin from Mosul, and Egyptian cotton were dyed with vibrant plant-based pigments such as saffron and pistachio, or colors derived from insects, such as cochineal and lac.