Natural Dyed Clothing | Hand-Dyed w Roots, Seeds, Leaves and Flowers
As the name suggests, natural dyeing is treating fabrics with dyes made from naturally occurring ingredients. This process is as old as textile itself, mostly being used in the East for generations, extending into millenniums. Ever since history has been recorded, man has procured colour from fruits and crushed seeds to face paint, paint on walls and add colour to all verticals of lifestyle. Nature has always provided the ingredients that we could possibly need to produce a brilliant catalog of colours with the only involvement of man being procuring them. When it comes to fabric dyeing, we had to take the process a bit further by first procuring then mixing them in correct proportions into dye baths along with maintaining correct temperature in order to get the desired result.
Natural dyes also known as Organic dyes or Herbal dyes are usually plant based dyes which are mostly hand done in smaller quantities in comparison to chemical dyes being mass dyed in huge boilers at an industrial scale. Comparatively so, chemical dyes are more definite and apt for bigger quantities. This makes natural dyes more compatible with slow fashion and small scale designs. Apart from their undeniable beautiful results natural dyes cut down the amount of toxic discharge resulting from synthetic dye processes. While synthetic dyes can provide colours with better colour fastness, wider range and tone of colours on a wider range of fabrics, organic dyes deliver exactly what they stand for-a natural result. The colours from nature enhance the richness of natural fabrics like none other, best seen in wool and cotton. Still natural dyeing isn’t as freestyle as it sounds- there are many factors that determine the shade produced with natural dye like pH of water used in the dye bath, material of utensils used in the making (aluminium, steel, etc), type of mordant used and its strength (if any), amount of dye used, fabric used for dye and so on.
Next element that comes to play is- Man. As mentioned earlier, natural dyes are usually carried out in small quantities by artisans. These dyers constantly hone their skill by consistent practice over the years and they’re been producing top-notch quality dye on the daily. For strong colours, active ingredients of colouring components are extracted in concentrated forms, usually in powder form. Made sure that they are highly rich in colouring tannin content and also easily soluble in water.
At zy-lk, we feel the best part about natural dyeing is- once inside the dye bath, the fabric truly behaves like an artist’s blank canvas. It alters and evolves with every dip and every playful twist of fabric into a fantastic cumulation of all the movements it goes through guided by our hands- becoming a masterpiece in all its essence. By this, you can see that every meter of fabric we hand dye with natural ingredients are one-of-a-kind with a personality of their own, very much like art. These pieces of art can only be produced in a creative workshop; not on a desk being pre-defined with high precision by a computer screen to be replicated into thousands of the very same.
Head over to our collection to see the many ways we have worked with natural dyes including tie-dyes like Dazai and stay tuned to upcoming blogs as we dive deep into every single organic colour used and its origins.