Natural dyes, which have been used for millennia to color cloth and textiles, are regaining appeal due to their benefits for the environment and human health. Natural colors, as opposed to synthetic dyes, which may contain dangerous chemicals and pollutants, are created from plant-based sources and are therefore more environmentally friendly. Natural dyes can also offer a vibrant, rich color palette that is unique to each dye source, as well as enhanced colorfastness and lightfastness.
Here are the top 5 natural dyes that are commonly used for dyeing clothes and are known for their high colorfastness and lightfastness.
- Indigo: Indigo is a deep blue color that is derived from the indigo plant and has been used for centuries to dye cloth and textiles. Due to its lightfastness and colorfastness, indigo is a preferred clothing dye. Using indigo, you may produce a wide range of colors, from light blue to dark navy. Indigo was primarily grown before Independence in rural parts of Bengal and Bihar. In recent years, the indigo crop has altered the economic landscape from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh to the topography of Uttarakhand.
- Marigold: This yellow hue, which comes from the marigold flower's petals, is renowned for being both lightfast and colorfast. Marigold is a flexible dye that may be employed to create a variety of hues from light yellow to golden yellow. It is frequently combined with other natural dyes to create the hues of green, orange, and brown. In both the northern and southern parts of India, marigold is a common plant and plays a significant role in the history of dyeing there.
- Madder: Both the common madder (Rubia tinctorum) and the Indian madder (R. cordifolia) were once grown for the production of red dye made from the roots that were ground up. The preparation and application of the fabric dye allowed for the production of pink and purple hues in addition to red.
- Pomegranate: The hard skin of the pomegranate fruit is used for dyeing. This dye can be used to colour wool and silk, but because it contains a lot of tannin (19 to 26%), it works best with cotton and other plant-based fibres. Pomegranate will produce yellow fawn if used without a mordant, and golden yellows if one is used. Greys, blacks, and mossy greens will be produced with the help of iron.
- Cochineal: Cochineal is a deep red color that is derived from the cochineal insect, and it is known for its colorfastness and lightfastness. Cochineal is a versatile dye that can be used to produce a range of shades from light pink to deep red, and it is often used in combination with other natural dyes to produce a range of colors
- Onions: The skin of the onion plant is a natural waste product. In this context, it is possible to evaluate their use in natural dyeing (cotton, wool, silk, etc.)Any natural cloth will become more bright and sunny thanks to the beautiful yellow color that onion skins provide. One need only boil the onion skins in water, add the cloth, and let it sit to achieve the desired color.
To sum up, natural dyes are a fantastic substitute for synthetic dyes and have a number of advantages for the environment and human health. To guarantee that the color is as colorfast and lightfast as possible when using natural dyes, it is crucial to adhere to the specified dyeing methods and processes. Pre-washing the fabric is essential in order to get rid of any size or other impurities that can alter the dye's final color.