Though Chemical dyes in the textile industry, have been commonly used in the modern world, the recent emphasis on environmental consciousness has brought natural dyes back in focus. In spite of this well-known fact, many people still choose to use synthetic dyes. This is because they don't know much about all the other benefits of natural vegetable dyes. We take you through a list of 9 ways Natural Vegetable Dyes are beneficial:
Natural vegetable dyes are an eco-friendly way to colour your fabrics and yarns. They are made from plants, fruits and vegetables found in your local store or farmers' market. These natural colours add rich colour to your fabric that not only looks beautiful but lasts longer too. Since they are vegetable-based, they have far less impact on your health and the environment than their chemical counterparts.
There are many natural vegetable dyes used as a substitute for chemical dyes. Some Commonly used Natural Vegetable Dyes in Textile Dyeing are extracted from Indigo, Turmeric, Madder, Gallnut, Pomegranate and Marigold.
1. Unique Range of Hues:
Natural dyes offer a variety of unique colours, from the bright and bold to the subtle and delicate. Natural dyeing can be used to create unique effects and shades that cannot be achieved with synthetic dyes.
2. Environmentally Friendly:
Natural vegetable dyes are also more environmentally friendly than artificial dyes. They are extracted from different parts of the plants & do not contain toxic chemicals or heavy metals. Some natural dyes are even edible. Examples-
Being extracted from natural sources, most of the natural dyes are biodegradable when composted. And thus, once they have degraded, they do not add any toxic or harmful compounds to the environment.
4. Skin Friendly
Natural vegetable dyes are safe for skin, especially sensitive ones and do not cause rashes. This is because they are made from natural sources and do not contain any harmful ingredients. They protect your skin from sunburns to a certain extent by blocking some of the harmful UV rays that reach your skin.
5. Employment for Artisan Community
The use of natural vegetable dyes is a centuries-old tradition in many countries. In some parts of the world, they are still used extensively and provide employment for artisans who produce them on a small scale.
Natural vegetable dyes are cost-effective. They are not only inexpensive, but they are also very easy to use. Many of them are cheap day-to-day items that are easily available in any market or even in the house. Example- Marigold, Turmeric or Pomegranate peel.
Many natural dyes also have anti-microbial properties that can kill bacteria and resist mould growth. Example- Acacia catechu (Khair/Katha), and Rubia cordifolia (Madder).
8. Insect Repellant
Natural dyes often contain compounds that repel mosquitoes or insects in general, so it is possible to use them to make clothes that protect against mosquitoes and other bugs. Example- Pomegranate peel
9. Deodorising Effect
Many Natural dyes also have a deodourising effect thanks to their resistance to bacteria which is the common cause of odour in textile.
1. Natural vegetable dyes are not colourfast and tend to fade in sunlight or when exposed to strong light sources. Thus, Natural vegetable dyes require mordants to fix the colour.
2. The colours produced by natural vegetable dyes are not always as vibrant as those produced by synthetic dyes.
3. Some colours, such as orange and yellow, may take multiple dyeing sessions to achieve the desired shade of colour.
4. The colour produced by natural vegetable dyes is due to the chemical structure of the dye molecule. This means that the same dye molecule can produce different colours depending on its environment. This is why natural vegetable dyes are not as reproducible as synthetic dyes and in some cases, they may look different day after day.
Natural Vegetable Dyes are the best choice for anyone looking to get the most out of their fabric. They are eco-friendly and safe to use. They do not contain any chemicals or harmful substances which could be harmful to the human body. And the best part is that you do not need any special equipment or training to create beautiful colours on your clothes by using natural plant extracts as dyeing agents.