Natural dyes are colorants that are derived from minerals, invertebrates and plants. A majority of these dyes are vegetable dyes, sourced from plants – leaves, flowers, roots, fruits and wood – and other organic sources like lichens and fungi. There are more than 500 dye-yielding plants worldwide.
One such plant is the Marigold (genus Tagetes).
In India, there is an abundance of Marigold flowers. They have lot of ritualistic use in Hindu customs.
Its rich yellow/orange colouring provides an excellent source for the yellow dye. The extraction from the Marigold flowers has many different pigments present which actually gives the dye a rich vibrant color that cannot be duplicated by using chemical dyes.
Here at Deshaj, we use only natural dyes as opposed to chemical dyes. This makes the apparels we produce both eco-friendly and skin friendly.
The first step to the extraction process is picking the flowers. Flowers with deeply coloured petals should be picked so that the colour remains vibrant.
The next step of the process is to separate the petals. This process is painstakingly done by hand and is quite time consuming.
The petals are then left to dry in the sun for some time.
The next step is to prepare the water mixture. Alum , (no more than 2-4% of the total mixture), is put into a bowl of water and then brought up to a boil .
The sun dried petals are then poured into the Alum-Water mixture. This mixture is now boiled till it is reduced to about 1/3 rd of its original volume. This step increases the concentration of the dye.
After the mixture is reduced, it is then strained into a separate bowl using a piece of cloth and left to cool. This process separates out the residue from the liquid dye.
Now, the dye is ready to be used on fabric.
A white piece of fabric is now introduced into the dye and left to soak for some time , so that the dye is incorporated into the fabric.
The dyed fabric is then hung to dry.
A product created using this dye.