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ECO-DESIGNS

HOW TO HANDLE “NATURAL” PIGMENTS AND DYES

ECO-FRIENDLY PIGMENTS

Since we started with our ECO-FRIENDLY SERIES based on natural pigments, we came to know about several natural color imparting substances on our planet which can prove really effective in carving out an alternative for synthetic coloring. Being Eco-friendly, these pigments are Sustainable, Bio-degradable and non-toxic for human use.

COLORS
Naturally Dyed Fabric, Photo on Unsplash

We have talked about three main sources of obtaining natural pigments:

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE ECO-DYES ?

BECAUSE EARTH IS FIRST

Living in the era of tremendous environmental loss, the need of the hour is to create awareness about the challenges to the environment and playing our part to safeguard our Earth. Just doing small changes in our lifestyle we can do great help to our upcoming generations and give them a happy place to live in.

earth

One such small practice is choosing naturally dyed fabric over regular synthetic one, as it is –

  1. Eco-friendly
  2. Less pollution generation
  3. Non-toxic
  4. Non-allergic
  5. Non-carcinogenic
  6. Easy to prepare
  7. Biodegradable
  8. Easy to dispose

We must encourage the indigenous communities who are making tremendous efforts to safeguard natural resources.

HOW TO ACTUALLY WORK WITH ECO-DYES

Eco-friendly dyes can yield a full palette of colors by treating them with different mordants and with different combinations. Natural dyes offers us an exciting color range right from

  • subtle pastels to tan colors in cotton
  • rich bright colors in silks
  • linens in earthy neutral tones
  • the bright spring shades of printed calico
colors
Photo by Nelly Karina Lopez on Unsplash

THE DYEING PROCESS

Process of extracting natural colors and dying your fabric greatly varies depending upon the following :

  • Source of pigment- Plant, Animal or Mineral
  • State of pigment source- Solid or Liquid
  • Type of fabric used
  • Mordant engaged
  • Soaking time
  • Repetition of dying process for obtaining required color.
fabric dye
Photo by julian mora on Unsplash

I have shared some awesome DIYs to try at home and create your own naturally dyed clothing stuff in other video.

TAKING CARE OF YOUR NATURALLY DYED FABRIC:

  • DIRECT SUNLIGHT: Prolong sun exposure can lead to discoloration of naturally dyed fabric. Store these clothes where it sees as little light as possible. While drying, use a shaded are to ensure that the color lasts longer.
  • DETERGENTS: To prevent the hand dyed cotton, linen or silk, avoid using hard chemical detergents on them while washing. If washing in washing machine try to use a mild, non-bleach based detergent and set the machine to a cold wash setting.
  • DO NOT Bleach.
  • Avoid direct contact of naturally dyed fabric with an acid including lemons and vinegar.
  • Try to wash light and dark colored clothes separately.
  • Always iron the fabric INSIDE OUT at low to moderate temperature.
  • Always check colorfastness before washing.

DEPLETION OF NATURAL ANCIENT DYES:

Beginning of 20th century, marked the rapid development in the production of synthetic dyes or chemical dyes. With the advent of synthetic dyes, the limitation of natural dyes became louder. People started to choose more economical, easy to access and vibrant color imparting chemical dyes.

I agree very much about the complexities that natural dyes carries with itself
* Difficult cropping of dye producing material
* Poor knowledge about dye yielding plants
* Complex dyeing process
* Limited number of dyes
* Poor color yield
* Inadequate fastness properties
makes these dyes less popular and led to the depletion of huge natural dye industry.

THE NEED OF THE HOUR:

Simply because of some downsides we can not deny the sustainable part played by natural dyes in human life. With the increased issue of environmental pollution and other ecological concerns over the current years, these natural dyes are now witnessing slow but steady revival phase. People are becoming more concerned about toxic chemicals, pollutants and hazardous substances for humans and mother Earth. Environmental enthusiasts, institutions/organizations, Government and individuals are avoiding chemically more hazardous synthetic dyes and intermediates.

FABRIC

Day by day in export market, demands for natural dyed natural textiles are being increased. Green dyeing, came as an employment opportunity for several NGOs, local weaver, craftsmen, farmers, small scale cottage industries, dyers society, textile designers, upcoming green industries and many more.

REVIVAL OF NATURAL INDIAN DYES

India shares a long royal past with eco-friendly dyes. Dyers from India were supreme in dyeing cotton. We have a rich handicraft industry where number of local talents are involved daily in dyeing yarns and fabrics with natural compounds, where several products are famous worldwide like Kalamkari print and Bagru print (all dyed with natural or vegetable colors).

bagru
NATURAL COLORS FOR BLOCK PRINTING

Global awareness regarding hazardous impact of synthetic dyes leads both producers and consumers to gradually rediscover the benefits and beauty of natural dyes. Thanks to the fashion industry working harder for bring in the client attention towards pastels and more earthy-raw and irregular look in the garment, which can be easily achieved from natural dyes. It is also reviving the traditional methods of processing dyes on fabric, reinstating the dyer artisans and local craftsmen. Farmer’s also stand to gain by growing crops of dye yielding plants.

Natural dyes are high in demand in the international market as to promote sustainable fashion. Different countries other than India like Turkey, Korea, Mexico, several countries of Africa have embraced the uses of natural dyes. most of these dyes remain important for artists, craftspeople, and niche producers.

Hope you enjoy reading the post. Do share, follow and write to us about your eco-friendly journey.

13 thoughts on “HOW TO HANDLE “NATURAL” PIGMENTS AND DYES”

  1. Superb post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Appreciate it!

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