Natural Tints and Treats

Naturally dyed Silk yarn laying on a table | Muezart India

We all adore colours, don’t we?  

Ever given a thought to why you should choose natural fabric dyes?  

Well, if you are a nature lover, you have your eyes on the right blog! 

Colours in general gives us an aesthetic satisfaction. However, apart from adding aesthetic value, natural dyes for textiles also tend to have utilitarian benefits.  

What are Natural Dyes?

To be precise, natural dyes are the kind of colours which are extracted naturally from various plant-based ingredients and minerals.  

The oldest and most sought-after shade was the natural indigo dye, which has been used in India for the last four thousand years. Natural dyes are dyes or colorants derived from plants, animals, or minerals. Furthermore, biological sources such as vegetables and fungi provide most of the natural dye production.  

The world is moving faster than ever before and it is quite obvious that we’ll feel the need to keep up with it. Change has always been the only constant in this world and with time, it is important that we understand the vitality of natural and sustainable ways of production and living.  

Origin of Natural Dyes 

The process of natural dyeing began probably during early 2600 BC in China 

Dyes made from wood and vegetables were discovered in the 4th century AD, as well as a shade of purple made from mollusks that was only affordable to royalty.  

With the passage of time, more colours were created, till the shift to synthetically coloured products.  

Natural dyeing methods were originally derived from natural sources such as plants, trees, lichens, and insects. Dependence on natural dyes went on for a long time until the 1850s. 

Some of the natural fabric dyes used in ancient times were indigo, alizarin, Tyrian purple, yellow and logwood. Let’s look at each of them and see where they were derived from and how they were developed. 

  • Indigo – Indigo iprobably the oldest known natural dye. It was derived from the leaves of woad herb and from the indigo plant, indigofera tinctoria. 

  • Alizarin– Alizarin is a red dye extracted from the madder plant. Other red shades were derived from scale insects such as kermes and coachineal
  • Tyrian Purple – Tyrian purple is extracted from the glands of snails. Since this shade of red used to be extracted only from snails, it was quite elusive and only people in power, high office, or royalty such as kings and emperors had exclusive rights to wearing garments dyed with this pigment. 

  • Yellow – Yellow came from the leaves of weld, quercetin, and the bark of the North American oak tree. Carotenoids, which are compounds present in green plants, also produced yellow to red dyes. 

  • Logwood – It is the only natural dye that is being used till today. Initially, it is red but the colour will transform to charcoal, grey, and black once combined with chromium. Logwood is usually used to dye silk and leather products. 

Advantages of Natural Dyes 

Annatto seeds for natural dyeing | Muezart India

Wondering why you should choose natural dyes for textiles? Apart from being good for the skin, the benefits of using natural dyes are endless. Lets take a look at some of them- 

  • Minimal environmental impact- Through the natural ways of dyeing, it is obvious that there will be very less impact on the environment- since no natural resources are being exhausted in the process. This means that they are much better for the environment and for use around humans. It is easy to extract the natural color from plants, fruits, or flowers. 

  • Renewable-  The low impact on the environment makes natural fabric dyes incredibly renewable and eco-friendly. Natural dyes neither contain harmful chemicals nor carcinogenic components, unlike artificial or synthetic dyes. 

  • High UV rays’ absorption- Natural dyes on fabrics provide better absorption of UV rays which means that when you wear clothes which are naturally dyed, you are fully protected from the sun’s harmful  

We often might wonder why natural dyes in textiles are so expensive, right?  

Due to the materials which they are sourced from and the time it takes to produce them, natural dyes are more expensive than synthetic dyes.  

Eri silk yarns and fibres, apart from being very naturally produced without killing the Eri silk moths are 1005 naturally dyed too.  

Colours vary too, depending on fruits, flowers or the leaves and uniformity can be difficult to achieve, especially depending on the seasons.  

They’re used in the makeup industry for similar reasons, can be used as pH indicators, and are also popular in art, textiles, and leather making. 

Muezart believes in the ethics of sustainability and eco-friendliness.  

And that is why, we firmly stand for natural dyeing process for all our yarns, fibres and apparels. 

Slow fashion is something that we feel for and I hope that by the end of this blog, you are able to actually understand why natural dyeing methods and textiles are so important in today’s day and age.   

To check out what Muezart has to offer in terms of its products dyed 100% naturally, click on the link below to treat yourself with naturally dyed Eri silk products.

Natural dyed Eri Silk yarn for knitting and crochet

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