PLANT BASED PIGMENTS & DYES-II
Plant-based dyes are natural dyes often called as vegetable dyes. These dyes or pigments are extracted from various parts of plants like flowers, woods, nuts, seeds, berries, barks, roots. They are the best alternative to synthetic colors and an easy approach towards sustainable life.
There are many more plants and other natural sources for the sustainable dying of fabrics. We discussed about extracting natural bright colors- Red, Blue, Yellow, in our post- Plant Based Pigments and Dyes.
In this post we limit our topic to Plant based sources of Earthy shades and Neutral colors.
1. MAZARI PALM (Nannorrhops ritchiana) :
The color khaki (from the Persian یکاخ – earthen, or earth-coloured), originally produced in India until medieval times is extracted from a species of palm shrubs. The color was adopted by the British army for its camouflage properties.
GREEN COLOR PIGMENTS
1. GREEN LETTUCE :
Different varieties of lettuce imparts different colors and their leaves can create hues ranging from pale apple green to olive.
Leafy greens like spinach, chard, purslane, dandelion greens, or sorrel for different variations in hues.
BROWN COLOR PIGMENTS
1. CUTCH (Acacia catechu) :
Cutchis an ancient brown dye derived from the wood of acacia trees, particularly Acacia Catechu, used in India for dyeing particularly cotton.
Cutch gives wool, silk and cotton a yellowish-brown tone but impart gray-brown color with an iron mordant and olive-browns with copper.
2. SUMAC (Rhus coriaria) :
Sumac is a subtropical shrub found especially in East Asia, Africa and North America. Excellent Burgundy Dye is obtained from the red colored sumac leaves and berries when soaked and boiled.
Leather tanned with Sumac is flexible, light in weight, and light in color. One type of leather made with sumac tannin is morocco leather.
Sumac dye works best with un-mordant cotton fabric. Using different mordants produce different colors depending upon the fabric chosen.
3. NATURAL COFFEE :
Natural coffee beans are great sources of color extraction for dying fabrics. Coffee color brings out rich and complex color combination and warmth to the fabric. Brewed coffee beans gives varying colors according to the fabric and mordant.
GREY / BLACK DYES
1. BLACKBERRY :
Autumnal blackberry leaves are used since ancient times to create a beautiful gray dye with iron as a mordant.
The colors are rich when used with white fabrics of cotton, linen, wool, etc. The hues we get will vary greatly depending on the base color of the fabric.
2. OAK LEAVES :
Using Oak leaves and galls for obtaining Black dye is an ancient method. The tannins within them act as a natural mordant. Adding iron can vary the shade and the black looks pretty good even after rinsing.
The list is ongoing…. You see there are so many plants that yields natural colors which we can use to dye fabric. It’s such a beauty that nature has given us to admire. The key is to explore the natural alternatives and find happiness in what is sustainable.
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