I know one cannot believe eveything the world wide web provides, but in my efforts to work in a more sustainable/ethically responsible way, most of my accessible re-sources are online.
After several failed attempts to dye my organic cotton and muesling free wool- knit swatches using natural materials (spinach, tumerric and curry spices, coffee) I think its time to admit that they are not going to provide me with the colors I'm needing for THIS specific project.
[The curry spice gives a beautiful INTENSE mustard color that I will definitely play with in a near future-despite the pungent "spice" scent it leaves behind. My roommate said it was a bit overwelming-aka:not pleasant-!]
so... I'm off to finding other possibilities within the "environmentally-friendly" realm.
I've started looking up "low impact dyes" and according to kidbean.com:
Low-impact dyes are petroleum-based, synthetic dyes with a higher than average absorption rate (70%-80%, depending on the color). This means less water is required in the rinse process and less dye runs off in the water; therefore, the dyes have a lower impact on the environment. Low-impact dyes also typically do not contain heavy metals (like chrome, copper and zinc), nor do they require toxic chemical mordants to fix them to the fiber.
Even though they are made from synthetic materials, low-impact dyes are generally considered eco-friendly and often preferable to natural dyes because:
- Low-impact fiber-reactive dyes. Fiber-reactive dyes are a synthetic dye that chemically bonds directly to the clothing fiber molecules. They were first used commercially in 1956. The fixation or absorption rate of low-impact dyes is at least 70%, creating less waste water runoff and therefore a lower impact on the environment. Recent advances have created fiber-reactive dyes with colors that are brighter and richer, and they provide excellent colorfast properties. They contain no heavy metals or other known toxic substances, and they meet all European Union criteria for being an eco-friendly pigment. But, the actual dyes in almost all low-impact fiber-reactive dyes are still made from synthetic petrochemicals.
- Natural dyes. "Contrary to popular opinion, natural dyes are often neither safer nor more ecologically sound than synthetic dyes. They are less permanent, more difficult to apply, wash out more easily, and often involve the use of highly toxic mordants. However, not all mordants are equally toxic, and the idea of natural dyestuffs is aesthetically pleasing." according to Paula Burch, PhD. Mordants help make the dye colorfast by chemically bonding the dye to the fabric. Dr. Burch reports that "Some natural dyes, such as the hematein derived from logwood, are themselves significantly poisonous. Of course, the color possibilities are far more limited than synthetic dyes."
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
CAN I COMPROMISE?
I'm thinking that my next collections might be all white, beige and brown--- this dying process is beginning to make things VERY COMPLICATED!