Dear customer Welcome to Earthernwear Blog!!!
For our first post we will be talking about Natural dyes. As we love to play and work with natural fabrics, it was for us a continuity to play as well with natural pygments to dyed our clothing. In this post we will see some of the history and properties of the dyed we use at Earthernwear...
Let start with our litlle favourite, Indigofera tinctoria :)
As early as more than 5,000 years ago, our ancestors in India, East Asia and Egypt, as well as probably the Maya, used the blue dye derived from the Indigofera Tinctoria plant to dye their clothes. After cross the age and the world, in 1873, Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss patented a pair of work trousers that would go on to conquer the world. The jeans made of durable denim with rivet reinforced pockets quickly become fast favourites among the hardworking men, the well known jeans and their blue indigo colours. Thus, indigo blue, which had once been a luxury reserved for royalty and the aristocracy had finally completed its transition into the distinctive mark of the working classes. Even more than 5,000 years after its discovery, we humans are still enthralled by indigo and wear it almost every day. And observe with fascination how the colour changes continuously, fades, ages and wears away.(1) Indigofera Tinctoria has been used as an antiseptic, anticatarrhal, febrifuge,and stimulant purgative. Blue false indigo is thought of to stimulate the immune system to purge any infections. Some ailments it is used for include ear, nose, and throat infections. Native Americans used the root of indigo for purging purposes as well and was most commonly ingested as a cold tea to stop vomiting. Sometimes people would chew on the root to soothe toothaches (6). A formulation of the stem has been used externally as a wash to treat smallpox and other similar skin ailments.(2)
Let's keep going with the unknown Ebony dyed, Diospyros Mollis :)
By the nineteenth century most traditional European processes for dyeing black relied on a cocktail of different ingredients, often including metallic mordants. On the contrary, it seems that Asian dyers had probably developed a very wide range of recipes for dyeing black, thanks to their rich tropical flora. The most common ingredients were the fruits and barks of various myrobalans and the fruits of Ebony. Known locally as the Siamese ebony, Diospyros mollis is still widely planted in Burma, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.(3)
The story of Thai ebony & its traditional dyeing Ebony fruit's dyeing has its long history as a part of northern Thai lifestyle. Particulaly in the old days, northern Thai villagers have used ebony dyed working wear for their daily farming work. Basically ebony dyeing process is similar to indigo's. It is done in cold dyeing. Frequency of dyeing with the sunlight expose makes color become darker and darker. To make it become to natural black, it needs over 25 times of dyeing. In the past, Thai people's perception of ebony (Makrua) color is natural black. (4)
Next natural dyed we use is the favourite food of Koala's, Eucalyptus Angophora:
All parts of Eucalyptus may be used to make dyes that are substantive on protein fibres (such as silk, wool and cotton ), simply by processing the plant part with water. Colours to be achieved range from yellow and orange through green, tan, chocolate and deep rust red. The material remaining after processing can be safely used as mulch or fertilizer. Eucalyptus is one of the most important sources of natural dye, yielding several yellowish-brown colorant. As ingredient, it is used to reduce symptoms of coughs, colds, and congestion. It also features in creams and ointments aimed at relieving muscle and joint pain. The oil that comes from the eucalyptus tree is used as an antiseptic, a perfume, as an ingredient in cosmetics, as a flavoring, in dental preparations, and in industrial solvents. Chinese, Indian Ayurvedic, Greek, and other European styles of medicine have incorporated it into the treatment of a range of conditions for thousands of years.
Can be surprising but the next dyed we will see is Turmeric: Curcuma longa
Turmeric has been used in Asia for thousands of years and is a major part of Ayurveda, Siddha medicine, traditionnal Chinese medicine and Unani. It was first used as a dye, and then later for its supposed properties in folk medicine.
Turmeric makes a poor fabric dye, as it is not very light fast, but is commonly used in Indian clothing, such as saris and Buddhist monks's robe.
Curcuma longa L. known as turmeric, which is used as a coloring agent, has medicinal properties even as a dyed fabric. Turmeric has been isolated from the rhizome of Curcuma longa, attributing biological activities such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, anticancer. As natural dyed pygment, studies proved that the antibactarian properties of turmuric are transferred into the dyed fabrics too.(5)
Since the last decade, the application of natural dyes on textile materials is gaining popularity all over the world, possibly because of increasing awareness of environment, ecology, and pollution control. Natural dyes are believed to be safe because of their non-toxic, non-allergic, and biodegradable nature. Many of the plants used for dye extraction are classified as medicinal, and some of them have recently been shown to possess high antibacterial activity.
We hope you enjoy and learn new things in our fist post!!!
Earthernwear Team wish you a wonderful day :)