Dyeing with Flowers from Plants
The use of natural plant dyes is not new. They have been used for centuries to color fabrics and textiles. These naturally occurring colors are made up of pigments, oils, waxes, esters, acids and other compounds that give them their unique characteristics. Many of these substances are toxic if ingested or inhaled so they must be extracted through chemical processes before they can be used in clothing or fabric making.
There are many different kinds of natural dyes and it is difficult to cover all of them here. However, there are some common ones used in textile production. There are also several ways that one can obtain these dyes from plants. For example, they may be harvested directly from the plant itself or they may be obtained by processing the leaves or stems of the plant into a liquid extract.
In addition to the above two methods, there are also other ways that one can obtain natural dyes from plants. One way is to grow the plants themselves and then harvest their seeds or tubers for use in dyeing. Another method involves growing certain species of herbs and spices such as turmeric, cumin, ginger root, cloves etc., and using these ingredients in a dyeing process.
Many of the natural dye plants that are used in the textile industry are grown in many parts of the world and for this reason, there is always a risk of them becoming extinct. To help prevent this from happening, many of these plants have been propagated and grown under cultivation so that they can be used in large quantities without endangering their wild counterparts.
Most of the materials needed for producing natural dyes are readily available and in abundant supply. There is no need to use an animal-based product like the commonly used wool fat, or even the modern chemical synthetic version of it called Lite Oil which is made from a petroleum by-product.
For thousands of years, humans have been using plants that grow all around us to dye our fabrics. In many cases, these plants also provide other benefits as well. For example, Woad is plant that has long been used to produce blue dye. It is a very hardy plant that can survive in many types of climates and it provides a habitat for other wildlife.
Before the introduction of chemical synthetic dyes it was widely used to produce blue clothing. The leaves and stems of this plant can be used to make a natural blue dye for wool or silk.
In addition to Woad, there are several other plants that can be used to produce similar shades of blue. One such example is the common Cornflower. The flowers of this plant can be used to produce a dye that will color wool a shade of blue. There are several other types of Cornflowers and some of them can produce yellow, orange or red dyes.
Some plants that are commonly found in North America can produce a yellow dye for wool or silk. These include plants like the Indian Paintbrush, the Golden Alexander and the wild Plum trees. Many other types of plants that are commonly found in North America can be used to produce different shades of reds, oranges and yellows.
Several species of plants that are found in South America can produce shades of green. Many of these plants including the parts of the Quito and the Chilian Mint plant, the leaves of the Yerba Mate plant, Palma Real tree leaves, and many others can be used to produce natural dyes that will color wool a shade of green.
For producing blue dyes, some of the natural dyes that are commonly used in the textile industry today include Woad, Common Cornflower stems and leaves, Wild Indigo, and many others. For producing red dyes some of the most commonly used natural dyes include Cutch trees, Annato Trees, Alkanet Root, Madder Root, and other similar plants. Yellow dye can be produced from many types of flowers such as the Golden Alexander and Common Sunflower. For producing orange dyes, the roots of the Sandalwood tree can be used.
For producing green dyes, plants such as the Quito and Chilian Mint plant, Yerba Mate plant, Palma Real trees,and others can be used.
There are many other natural dyes that can be used to produce different colors such as blue, red, orange, purple, yellow, brown and even black. Many of these plants contain organic chemicals within the plant cells that can be used to produce different types of dyes for coloring wool. In some cases, the same plant can be used to produce more than one type of dye. If you know how to harvest and prepare these plants for dyeing, then you can produce a wide variety of natural dyes from them.
These types of plants can be grown in many climates and in many areas of the world. Many of these plants can also be grown near your home or village if you have the available land for them. They do not require large amounts of water and they do not take up much space either. With careful planning, one could easily grow enough of these dye plants to produce all the natural dyes that they would ever need for coloring cloth.
Natural dyes can be produced from many types of plants, some common and some uncommon. There are several different types of plants that can be used to produce a wide range of colors such as yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green and black. You probably have many of these plants growing in your own backyard or nearby.
Natural dyes can be used to produce fabrics of many different colors. These dyes can be used to color wool, silk and cotton. Some of these can even be used to dye the hair of animals such as goats or sheep. In some cases, the same plants can be used to produce more than one type of dye.
Different plants can be used to produce different types of dyes such as reds, purples, browns, oranges and more. These plants can be harvested, prepared and then used to dye your clothing and other fabric items.
You may have seen many different types of fabrics and fabrics colors at the local market but did you know that most of these colors are not produced from natural dyes?
Most of these colors are not even produced from plants or animals. In fact, most of these fabrics contain harsh chemicals such as synthetic dyes or acid that causes severe damage to the environment.
Natural dyes can be used to produce various colors of fabric. These types of dyes do not contain any harsh chemicals and they won’t damage the environment around you. They do contain organic materials that are harvested from plants and other types of animals or insects.
Most of these dyes are very easy to make. You can make the dyes yourself at home. The most important factor to keep in mind is that you do not want to contaminate any of the organic materials with any harsh chemicals or acid. Keep everything as clean and pure as possible.
Many different types of natural dyes can be used to achieve different colors of fabrics. Most natural dyes are not suitable for clothing but they can be used to produce colored fabrics such as camouflage, prints, rugs and other fabric home items.
There are four major types of natural dyes. These include:
● Animal based dyes
● Plant based dyes
● Mineral based dyes
● Other natural substances based dyes
There are also several sub-types of these major types.
Let’s take a look at the four main natural dyes:
Animal Based Dyes:
You can produce different colors from animal based dyes depending on what type of animal you take the material from. For example, you can use the material from an octopus or a squid to create dark purplish colors. You can get yellowish colors from the excrement of a crustacean. You can get reddish and purple colors from a insect called the lac bug.
You can create various browns from insects, plants and other sources.
Plant Based Dyes:
There are several different types of plants from which you can produce different colors. You can get yellowish colors from plants such as weld or open fennel. You can get greenish colors from weld and nettle. You can produce blue colors from the woad plant.
You can get pinkish colors from the rose madder plant. You can get orange and red colors from the root of the urd bean plant.
Mineral Based Dyes:
This type of dye is becoming more popular because it’s cheaper to produce. Iron, copper and other types of earth metals can be used to create different colors.
Other Natural Substance Based Dyes:
Natural substances such as human and animal hair, otherwise known as keratin, can be gathered and used as a dye. You can also get browns from certain types of clay. You can even produce some colors from conch shells that have been ground up and prepared in a certain way.
You can use any combination of these types to produce the hundreds of different types of natural dyes that are available to you.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Status of natural dyes and dye-yielding plants in India by R Siva – Current science, 2007 – JSTOR
Eco-Friendly Dyeing of Gamma Ray Induced Cotton Using Natural Quercetin Extracted from Acacia Bark (A. nilotica) by T Gulzar, S Adeel, I Hanif, F Rehman, R Hanif… – Journal of natural …, 2015 – Taylor & Francis
Dye plants and dyeing. by J Cannon, M Cannon – 1994 – cabdirect.org
Dye yielding plants of the Garhwal Himalaya, India: a case study. by S Antima, LR Dangwal, D Mukta – International Research Journal of …, 2012 – cabdirect.org
Dyes from the leaves of deciduous plants with a high tannin content for wool by ASM Raja, G Thilagavathi – Coloration Technology, 2008 – Wiley Online Library