The textile industry is one of the most significant and biggest fields in the commercial world. After all, clothing is one of the basic necessities of humans. Plus, the fashion game is one the edge these days and people are constantly in a race to sport wearing the best dress. Needless to mention, one of the main factors that may attract you in a dress will be its color. Indeed, who can resist the charm of a fire engine red-colored dress or a deep purple top?
Even your fluffy bath towel that shows off the earthy brown color might draw the attention of people. Have you ever wondered how your custom knit fabric or other apparel got its captivating colors? Well; it can be achieved by means of the dyeing process. It is to be noted that textile manufacturers tend to use both natural dyes and synthetic dyes for this process.
Needless to mention, natural dyes are always the most preferred options over the synthetic ones because of the eco-friendly factor, which is of high significance in the present world. Natural dyes are created from the pigments that are organically present in plants, naturally-occurring minerals, and animals. Additionally, no chemicals will be involved in the entire process; be it for pigment extraction, apparel production, or application.
Natural Dyes Extracted from Plants
Natural dyes made from plants are the mostly-used ones when compared to the dyes produced from animals. Note that the cruelty-free campaigns are raging the field these days. Some of the popular dyes created from plants are listed below.
- Indigo – a blue dye created from woad, Indigofera, and other plants
- Weld – a yellow dye extracted from the weld plant, as the name indicates. Other plants including the dyers greenweed also is a great source to create vibrant hues of yellow
- Madder – a red dye produced from the madder plant. The plants such as St. John’s wort, Brazilwood, etc., are also great sources of red dyes
- Cutch – a brown dye sourced from a type of acacia plant called the cutch tree
Natural Dyes Sourced from Animals
Even though most people are shunning clothes made of animal dyes these days and are embracing the vegan clothing trend, some of the popular dyes created from animals are listed below.
- Kermes – a red dye sourced from insects that live on the Kermes oaks tree
- Cochineal – a purple dye created from insects that live on a particular type of cactus
- Tyrian purple – a purplish dye pigment extracted from sea mollusks
The Cons of Natural Dyes
Despite all the ethical reasons associated with natural dyes, some industrialists tend to use synthetic dyes citing the following reasons.
- Naturally occurring poisonous elements or substances
- Variation in quality
- The necessity of using relative higher quantity of water
- The tendency to wash off and fade easily
- You cannot create a wide range of hues or saturation with natural dyes
- Relatively more expensive