Introduction to Natural dyes

Dr. Reena Aggarwal TIT IV 2011

Introduction to natural dyes .

the best-known ones including madder.What are natural dyes? ‡ Natural dyes are dyes obtained from plant animal and mineral resources present in nature. . such as cochineal. or from mineral sources. brazilwood. Some natural dyes. ‡ Most natural dyes come from dye plants. come from insects. logwood. woad and indigo. weld.

or only dry-cleaned. and. science fair projects involving natural dyes should be done using wool yarn or fabric. especially if mordanted with tannins. ‡ There are some natural dyes that will work on cotton.Fiber choice for natural dyeing ‡ Wool is generally the best fiber to color with natural dyes. It will attach to a wider variety of dye chemicals than cellulose fibers such as cotton. the relative impermanence of most natural dyes is less of an issue. since it is usually washed in cool water. however. ‡ Synthetic fibers usually cannot be dyed with natural dyes. As a rule. . ‡ Cotton is less suitable for many natural dyes. not cotton (though comparing the same dye on the two different types of fiber would make a nice project).

for example. acid. soy. which are colourless. suede ‡ Cellulose fibres require fibre-reactive. ‡ Protein fibres require vat. soluble dyes fixed by light and/or oxygen. and so on. mohair. rayon acetate requires disperse dyes.Fibre content determines the type of dye required for a fabric: ‡ Cellulose fibres: cotton. silk. ‡ Each synthetic fibre requires its own dyeing method. ramie. disperse and pigment dyes. ‡ The types of natural dyes currently in use by the global fashion industry include . bamboo. linen. or indirect/mordant dyes. cashmere. and vat dyes. leather. hemp. angora. that require a bonding agent. nylon requires acid. direct/substantive. rayon ‡ Protein fibres: wool.

which require no mordants ‡ Vat dyes ‡ Mordant dyes.Types of dyes There are three major types of natural dyes: ‡ Substantive dyes. . which require auxiliary substances to become attached to the fiber.

the spice. ‡ Another word for a substantive dye is direct dye. usually in a quantity equal to or twice that of the weight of the fiber. with the fiber (or fabric) and simmering for an extended period of time. such as cutch.Substantive dyes ‡ Substantive dyes are those that do not need a mordant to bind the dye to the fiber. and tea. which works on cotton as well as on wool. ‡ An example is turmeric. others include onion skins. walnut husks. ‡ Substantive dyes are used by simply combining the dyestuff. . There are relatively few substantive dyes.

‡ The vat dyes include many synthetic dyes.Vat Dyes ‡ Vat dyes form the third category and include indigo and woad. and need to be dissolved in a vat with alkalis. requiring the establishment of an anaerobic (oxygen-free) fermentation. . Oxygen is removed by a chemical process called reduction. by being introduced into the surface of the fiber while in soluble form and then converted into an insoluble form. the dyes become stable soluble compounds ‡ The vat dyes work the same way on protein and cellulose. On contact with air (oxidation). These dyes are insoluble in water. and the ancient Tyrian Purple dye extracted from shellfish. but also the natural dye indigo. ‡ They are complex to use.

) The mordant allows many natural dyes which would otherwise just wash out to attain acceptable washfastness. Each different metal used as a mordant produces a different range of colors for each dye. but sometimes tannins. holding the dye. (Tannins are particularly important in dyeing cotton and other cellulose fibers. cochineal and weld. A mordant remains in the fiber permanently.Mordant Dyes ‡ Additive dyes or mordant dyes. such as madder. This is the most common type of dye. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ . need a mordant in order for the dye to bond with the fiber. Most natural dyeing is done with the use of mordants. most commonly heavy metal ions.

TIN. usually used with cream of tartar. Common mordants are: ALUM. oranges and yellows. especially reds. bringing out green shades. Not all dyes need mordants to help them adhere to fabric. If they need no mordants. IRON (or copperas) which saddens or darken colors. which helps evenness and brightens slightly. BLUE VITRIOL which saddens colors and brings out greens TANNIC ACID used for tans and browns. . such as lichens and walnut hulls.Mordants ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ A mordant is an element which aids the chemical reaction that takes place between the dye and the fiber so that the dye is absorbed. they are called substantive dyes. stainless steel. copper or iron pots will do their own mordanting. which blooms or brightens colors. usually used with cream of tartar.) Brass. Containers used for dying must be non-reactive (enamel.

Onion The outer skin of this common vegetable is one of the most useful and readily available dyestuffs. to the dyer. a small thorny tree. It yields orange-brown dyes that are rich in tannin. The commercially available indigo powder is made from the leaves of Indigofera tinctoria. yellow. it is the source of the familiar yellow color of many Asian curry dishes. It is ideal for the novice dyer¶s first experiments since it reliably produced rich. sunny and humid growing conditions to flourish. one of the most valuable red dye pigments ever known. Cutechu The dyestuff known as cutch or catechu is an extract usually made from the heartwood of Acacia catechu. which requires hot. Pomegranate The edible pomegranate fruit yields a ocher-yellow dye and the skins are rich in tannin. Yet. Turmeric Turmeric belongs to the same family as ginger. Turmeric was and still is used for textile painting and printing in . Cutch. Indigo Indigo¶s ability to produce an extensive range of beautiful blue shades has made it the most successful dye plant ever known. which improves colorfastness. It is used mainly to dye cotton and silk. The pomegranate dye lacks brilliance so it is often mixed with turmeric root to make the color brighter. Both the culinary spice and the dye are obtained from its root.Herb Image Colors Description Madder Madder¶s leafy tops sprawl untidily over the ground and their clusters of tiny yellow-green flowers are insignificant. and does not impart any odor to the dyed material. Sometimes known as ³Indian saffron´. and was used in calico printing before its introduction to the West. it is green (harita) in the natural colour and it cures (harayet) all diseases. rust and brown on all fibers. Haritaki Haritaki is so named because it grows in the abode of Hara (the Himilayas). In and it is used as a mordant and a dye. vibrant shades of orange. madder is a miracle of color because its roots contain alizarin. .

from a compound of chromium and oxygen. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Mineral Dyes: Chrome Green . hematite is a constituent of a number of abrasives and pigments. ‡ In addition to being the principal ore of iron.from a compound of iron and cyanide.from a compound of chromium and lead. usually red (hematite) or yellow (limonite). Chrome Red .from a compound of chromic acid and lead. . Chrome Yellow .‡ Natural dyes obtained from minerals ‡ Ocher is a dye obtained from an impure earthy ore of iron or a ferruginous clay. Prussian Blue .

most cherries today are given their bright red appearance through the artificial color "carmine". which comes from the cochineal insect. vibrant red coloring. The properties of the cochineal bug was discovered by pre-Columbian Indians who would dry the females in the sun. Cochineal is still harvested today on the Canary Islands.from bodies of cochineal insects.from the bodies of some types of marine snails. ‡ Major Animal Dyes: ‡ Cochineal (red) . which is a brilliant red dye produced from insects living on cactus plants.from secretions of several types of cuttlefish . In fact. rich red powder. ‡ Tyrian Purple (purple or crimson) . the powder produced a deep.‡ Natural dyes obtained from animals ‡ A good example is cochineal. ‡ Sepia (brown) . and then ground the dried bodies to produce a rich. When mixed with water.

Colour Red dye Safflower Caesalpinia Madder Log wood L. Flower Flower Flower Alum Chrome Alum Indigofera tinctoria L. Urtica dioica L. Haematoxylon campechianum Rumex dentatus L. Convallaria majalis L. Marigold Saffron Blue dye Indigo Woad Sunt berry Pivet Water lily Black dye Alder Rofblamala Custard apple Harda Orange dye Annota Dhalia Lily Nettles Botanical name Carthamus tinctorius L.. Mallotus philippinensis Muell. Dhalia sp. Morinda tinctoria L. Isatis tinctoria L. Bark Leaf Ferrous sulphate Ferrous sulphate Anona reticulata L. Fruit Fruit ± Ferrous sulphate Bixa orellena L. Caesalpinia sappan L. Crocus sativus L. Rubia tinctorium L. Nymphaea alba L. Khat palak Indian mulberry Kamala Lac Yellow dye Golden rod. Seed Flower Leaf Leaf Alum Alum Ferrous sulphate Alum . Acacia nilotica (L. Parts used Flower Wood Wood Wood Wood Wood Flower Insect Mordants ± Alum Alum ± Alum Alum Alum Stannic chloride Solidago grandis DC Tagetes sp. Leaf Leaf Seed pod Fruit Rhizome Alum ± ± Alum and iron Iron and acid Alnus glutinosa (L. Coccus lacca Kerr. Terminalia chebula Retz.) Gaertn Loranthus pentapetalus Roxb.) Ligustrum vulgare L.

Using too much will make wool and silk brittle. To avoid this you can add a pinch of tin at the end of the dying time with fiber that was premordanted with alum. ‡ Tartaric Acid: A must for cochineal. Extremely toxic. Tin is not commonly used with cellulose fibers.‡ Mordants for Natural Dyeing Mordants are needed to set the color when using natural dyes. It can also be used to lower the acidity of a dyebath. Using too much will make the fiber brittle. Chrome should not be inhaled and gloves should be worn while working with chrome. ‡ Tara Powder: (Caesalpinia Spinosa) Tara Powder is a natural tannin product. ‡ Calcium Carbonate: Is to be used with indigo powder for the saxon blue color. ‡ Iron: (Ferrous Sulfate) Dulls and darkens dye colours. It is needed for darker colors on cotton. Also use in chemical dye. ‡ Tin: (Stannous Chloride) Tin will give extra bright colors to reds. Different mordants will give different results. linen and hemp. ‡ Alum: (Aluminum Potassium Sulfate) This is the most widely used mordant. It will also darken the dye colors. oranges and yellows on protein fibers. but is less harsh. Be careful not to use too much with wool. Left over mordant water should be disposed of at a chemical waste disposal site and treated as hazardous waste. similar to using tin. This mordant will expand the cochineal colors. ‡ Glaubersalt: (Sodium Sulfate) Used in natural dyes to level out the bath. ‡ Copper: (Copper Sulfate) This mordant is used to bring out the greens in dyes. ‡ Spectralite: (Thiourea Dioxide) This is a reducing agent for indigo dyeing. otherwise you will get a sticky feeling that doesn't come out. . ‡ *Chrome: (Potassium Dichromate) Chrome brightens dye colors and is more commonly used with wool and mohair than with any other fiber.

‡ Washing of dyed wool sample in ezee soap solution and the rinsing with water. ‡ Drenching of mordanted wool sample in a dye bath containing extracted dye. ‡ Rinsing of mordanted wool sample with water.Procedure For Dyeing ‡ Pre.Mordanting Stage ‡ Mordanting of water soaked wool sample at simmering point for 30 mins. . ‡ Drying in shade at roon temperature ‡ Dyed wool sample(end product). ‡ Dyeing at simmering point for 30 mins to 1 hr.

Mordanting of dyed wool sample at simmering point for 30 to 45 mins. ‡ Drying in shade at room temperature.‡ Post Mordanting Stage Put extracted dye in dye bath Drenching of water soaked wool sample in dye bath. ‡ Washing of mordanted wool sample in ezee soap solution. ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ . Dyeing at simmering point for 30 mins to 1 hr. there after rinsing with water. Rinsing of dyed wool sample with water. ‡ Dyed wool sample(end product).

green. pink.‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Animal: Cochineal insect (red) Cow urine (Indian yellow) Lac insect (red. black) ‡ Pomegranite peel (yellow) ‡ Weld herb (yellow) . golden yellow) ‡ Larkspur plant (yellow) ‡ Madder root (red. violet) Murex snail (purple) Octopus/Cuttlefish (sepia brown) ‡ Plant: ‡ Catechu or Cutch tree (brown) ‡ Gamboge tree resin (dark mustard yellow) ‡ Himalayan rubhada root (yellow) ‡ Indigofera plant (blue) ‡ Kamala tree (orange-yellow. orange) ‡ Myrabolan fruit (yellow.

red. beige. yellow-red) Limonite clay (sienna) Titanium (white. black) Zinc (white) .Mineral: ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Arsenic (green) Brown clay (umber brown) Cadmium (green. purple) Hydrated iron oxide (ochre) Lead (white. yellow. green) Cinnabar (vermillion) Cobalt (blue) Copper (green. yellow. blue. orange) Carbon (black) Chromium (yellow.