Natural dyes and sustainability
When people talk about natural colours, they're talking about pigments found in plants, fruits, insects, and minerals. Tea, turmeric, avocado stones/skins, black beans, carrot tops, and onion skins are just a few examples of dyeing materials that may be found in your kitchen. You may find dyes in your garden, your neighbourhood, farms, and forests. Herbs, flowers, leaves, roots, bark, stems, twigs, seeds, fungus, and lichen can all be used to dye. You'll be shocked at what you can dye with and how many natural colours you can get from the objects around you.
When applied to yarns, fabric, or finished clothes, thousands of plants may provide an almost infinite palette of gorgeous colours. The hues achieved will be influenced by a variety of elements such as soil, water PH, geography, and time of year. Some dyes may be used without the use of heat, while others must be simmered to release the colour.
The technique of natural dyeing is comparable to cooking in many ways. Natural dyeing may be done in a variety of ways, just as cooking can be done in a variety of ways.
To begin, you won't need much; most of the necessary equipment can be found in your kitchens. A saucepan, buckets, wooden spoons, bowls, and a sieve or strainer are all that is required. In most nations, dyes may be obtained easily at your environment, or specialized colours may be purchased in dye supply stores. They can be mixed or stacked in the dye pots to increase the number of colours available. Working with natural dyes is a fantastic way to breathe new life into an old piece, to revitalize what you already have, to reduce mass consumerism, and to take a fresh look at what we have.
For hundreds of years, this is how garments have been coloured! Archaeologists have discovered ornamented textiles that show that humans have always utilized clothes for more than simply functional purposes; even the world's oldest woven garment includes modest, ornamental pleats. Dyeing was not only a useful means to make clothing more unique for the wearer, but it was also a means to make them more functional. It was a means to make women in the historical periods feel more liberated.
Dyes can be used on plant-based or animal-based all-natural fibres. Any fibre generated from a plant, such as cotton, linen, or hemp, is referred to as plant fibres, also known as cellulose fibres. Fibres derived from animals, such as wool, yarn, and silk, are known as animal or protein fibres. Because each fibre responds differently to the dye as it absorbs it, the results you receive will be influenced by the fibre or cloth you use. The best fabric to use in this case would be linen as it takes the dye beautifully and brings out the textural properties of the ancient cloth.
Natural dyeing has several environmental advantages in addition to the gratifying features of working with it. They are biodegradable and can be securely disposed of, and they reduce the toxic waste caused by contemporary synthetic dyes. They are non-toxic to the environment and do not cause skin allergies. Many natural colours have antibacterial qualities, making them especially safe for youngsters.
Experimenting with and understanding about this technique may be a really enlightening and liberating experience. Spending time gathering materials reconnects you to nature, whether it's using food waste from our kitchens or taking for a stroll to pick plants for your dyeing. Reconnecting with our surroundings and making something beautiful with our hands may help to calm the mind and soothe the spirit.
Taking the effort to study these classical skills is a good endeavour that may sustain us through these current times as our world grows more dependent on technology and more removed from nature.
I hope this post has given you a little look into the beautiful world of natural dyes. While synthetic dyes play a major role in the fashion industry, I love that within the slow fashion movement, natural dyes are still being utilized and traditional techniques are being preserved. All our designers at Organico, manufacture clothes made of natural dyes in a bid to aid this movement and switch to sustainability.