What dyes are used for organic fabric dyeing? How does it work?

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Before 1856, when mauveine was discovered by Henry Perkin, leading to the replacement of natural dyes with synthetic dyes, the use of synthetic dyes soared afterward. The environmental threat that synthetic dyes posed in recent times have necessitated the recursion of organic dyes, which is natural. 

The major sources of organic dyes are; plants, animals, and minerals.

The most common of the three sources are the dyes gotten from plants. The application of organic dye on fabric varies based on the fabric. A natural dye cannot be retained on some fabrics, while it can stay on some others. 

Most of the fabrics cannot stay on our artificial fabrics like nylon and polyester.

The organic dyes used for fabrics are not gotten from all plants, and the colors they bring out vary: You might think since onion skins are lilac, it should give the same result on your fabric. It is not the case. FYI, onions actually will mostly give you orange color. You will get a charcoal grey color from plants like iris roots, walnuts, or blackberries. Pink can be gotten from cherries, roses, and avocado seeds. A healthy plant that is not dried yet will give you greater results compared to dried plants.

You do not want your fabrics to be stained inconsistently.

For the easy application of organic dye on fabric, the fabric must be washed and left wet before applying dye (do not make the drying mistake before application). Mordant or fixative should be used to make the dye stay on the fabric: 2 tablespoons per pound of fiber. When using berries as dyes, you might need salt and vinegar instead. The quantity of mordant for a large fabric should be measured with care. When applying alum, use a quarter of the weight of the material intended to be dyed.

The exhaustion process is used to expand the fabric to allow easy bonding of dye molecules to it. Restraining agents need to be employed to ensure the evenness of dyeing with the use of restraining agents.


Allow the plant to heat up for about one to two hours until you get your desired color. Dip your fabric in the solution and keep stirring until the dye has evenly spread. Only bring it out when you are satisfied with the outcome. In the case of light fabric, remove it earlier than thick ones. Dry it up, and that is all! If the color is not suiting, just a tiny bonus: when you remove it from the dye, you did not like what you saw. In that case, apply more dye, but not mordant.