Advantages and Disadvantages of Natural Dyes on Textile Applications

The meticulous environmental standards in textiles and garments imposed by countries cautious about nature and health protection are reviving interest in the application of natural dyes in dyeing of textile materials. The toxic and allergic reactions of synthetic dyes are compelling the people to think about natural dyes. Natural dyes are renewable source of colouring materials. Besides textiles it has application in colouration of foods, medicine and in handicraft items. Though natural dyes are ecofriendly, protective to skin and pleasing colour to eyes, they are having very poor bonding with textile fibre materials, which necessitate mordanting with metallic mordants, some of which are not eco friendly, for fixation of natural dyes on textile fibres. This necessitates newer research on application of natural dyes on different natural fibres for completely eco friendly textiles.

Natural dyes are having some inherent advantages:

  • No health hazard;
  • Easy extraction and purification;
  • No effluent generation;
  • Very high sustainability;
  • Mild dyeing conditions;
  • Renewable sources.

There are some technical issues and disadvantages related to the application of natural dyes which reduced its applications that are:

  • Mostly applicable to natural fibres (cotton, linen, wool and silk)
  • Poor colour fastness properties;
  • Poor reproducibility of shades;
  • No standard colour recipes and methods available;
  • Use of metallic mordants, some of which are not eco friendly.

In present scenario environmental consciousness of people about natural products, renewable nature of materials, less environmental damage and sustainability of the natural products has further revived the use of natural dyes in dyeing of textile materials.

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