The art of natural dyeing is the process of colouring the fabric with the help of dyes that are obtained naturally. One thing to note here is that this ancient technique does not vary that much across the globe, and that is why almost anyone can relate to it. In order to obtain the dye, there is the same procedure that needs to be followed no matter what natural substance you have chosen. Read more about The Origin of Herbal Dyeing.
As you might be aware, recently, there has been a surge in the textile industry that has increased the demand for the use of these natural dyes. One of the main reasons behind it is the current use of synthetic chemicals that many big manufacturers use. In the world of fast fashion, synthetic chemicals are like a saviour as they are available in abundance. But, for the consumer, these synthetic chemicals can have some skin problems.
So, in a way, you can say that natural dyes add some kind of health value to clothes, which is something that people didn't consider before. Let's talk about the process of making a natural dye. Read more about The Importance of Ayurvedic Dyeing
The Process Of Preparing A Natural Dye
As we mentioned previously, the process of preparing a natural dye no matter what your source is. There is a reason why for some people, natural dye preparation becomes a hobby. However, before going on with the procedure, we would like to say that not all types of fabric can work with natural dyes. Some of the best fabrics that you can use are cotton, silk, wool, and linen.
With the help of a synthetic blend, you can certainly make a dye that works for every fabric, but it will be lighter in colour. The reason natural dyeing is making a resurgence is that the buyers want something that is completely organic and free of toxins. This also adds to the positive ecological effects of eliminating the chemicals from the manufacturing process.
That being noted, let’s get on with the steps.
Step One: Knowing Your Colour
The first step to cover in this procedure is to understand what the final product is. In dyeing, the colour of the final dye is related to the ingredient that you put in during the process. Below are some common ingredients mentioned that you can use, along with the colours that they produce.
- Orange: Carrots, onion skins, and gold lichen.
- Brown: Oak Bark, Walnut hulls, tea, acorns, and coffee.
- Blue: Indigo, red cabbage, red mulberries, and purple grapes
- Green: Artichokes, spinach, lilacs, and grass.
- Yellow: Turmeric, celery leaves, dandelion flower, and sunflower petals.
Step Two: Preparing The Fabric
The second step is for you to get your fabric ready. Follow the following instructions to do so:
- Wash the fabric thoroughly.
- Apply the fixative or 'mordant.'
A fixative or ‘mordant’ will help the fabric take up the dye more easily. In order to apply it, just place the damp fabric in the fixative solution for over an hour. Once done, rinse it thoroughly with water. And this takes us to our next step of dyeing.
Step Three: Dyeing The Fabric
Now, once you have done everything, all you have to do is get a pot and place the dyeing material in it. Make sure that the pot is non-reactive. Now, follow the following steps.
- Fill the pot with water. It should be twice as much as the dyeing material.
- Simmer it for over an hour until a nice dark colour starts to appear.
- Strain out the plant material.
- Place in the fabric and bring the dye bath to a slow boil.
- Again, simmer for an hour.
- When you get the preferred colour, take out the fabric.
Now, you need to remember that once the fabric dyes, it will be a lot lighter in the shade compared to how you took it out of the bath. But nonetheless, these are the three simple steps that are needed to be followed in the case of natural dyeing. Read more about Why Ayurveda Dyeing is Beneficial?
How Is Natural Dyeing Coming Back?
As you can clearly see in the above section, the process of natural dyeing is quite simple even as a hobby. Now imagine what a traditional clothing brand can do with it. Sure, compared to the current fast-fashion climate, the demands are huge for the brands. With natural dyeing, this process will be slowed down.
However, after considering how the clothing industry has become one of the major contributors to global water contamination, the brands and industry insiders are having second thoughts. As for now, natural dyes are not only presenting themselves as an organic choice but also as a more sustainable choice that many brands, both big and small, should adopt.
Herbal Dyeing: The Next Frontier
Technically speaking, herbal dyeing is a 5000-year-old technique that was introduced in Vedic sciences. In this, the fabric is infused with dyes that are prepared from herbs with medicinal qualities. Ayurveda plays an important role in this as well. In a way, herbal dyeing not only removes the synthetic chemicals that are used in the dyeing process but also provides a great medicinal benefit as well.
At GIBIE, we aim to reignite this trend of herbal dyeing as it happens to be sustainable and beneficial at the same time. Our dyes are solely made out of plant-based products such as roots, flowers, leaves, and seeds. As for now, herbal dyeing is reshaping itself across the globe so that it can meet the demand of today's world. With the fast-fashion trend facing some criticism, it seems that now even the customers are looking for options to try on some 100% organic and sustainable clothing. And we are proud to be one of the best brands to provide bathroom linens that are dyed with the help of these herbs.
Sustainable fashion, as for today, has significantly changed from being a lifestyle choice to a necessary ecological choice. In a way, it is not a trend but the only option that we can choose when it comes to clothing. And this is why some big brands have also chosen to follow this path even if it turns out to be less profitable for them. Read more about Mindful Buyers: The Rise of Eco-Conscious Shopping.