The dyeing and finishing processes in the textile industry have garnered a lot of attention lately because of the emerging concept of sustainability and eco-friendly textiles and garments. Due to the toxicity of the dyes and chemicals used in textiles and inappropriate discharge of such waste has led to skin diseases and respiratory problems among many workers. This has given an impetus to the rising demand for producing textile products through environment friendly and sustainable dyes and processes.
Till the midst of nineteenth century all the dyes used for textile products were procured naturally, until the invention of mauvine in 1856 by Perkin. Since then there has been no looking back in the production of synthetic dyes because they were affordable, available in a lot of different colors, good color-fastness, and most of all were easy to produce. The textile industry is accountable for using and producing 1.3 million tons of dyes and pigments, most of which are made synthetically.
Textile dyeing and finishing in a green way can be achieved by using chemical-free dyes and using kin to environment processes. Using natural dyes made from plants, marine invertebrates (like sea urchins and starfish), algae, bacteria, and fungi. This has also led to the development of Herbal dyes, that are not just bio-degradable but also posses' medicinal properties. Plants, fruits, barks, stems, minerals, and herbs are used to make fabrics with anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti- allergic fabrics.
However, retaining color fastness and obtaining certain shades can be difficult. The following are a few other dyes and pigments used to reduce the consumption of water and keep the environment from polluting to a minimum.
Fibre-reactive dyes are dyes that bond to the fibre due to a chemical reaction with fabrics like cotton, rayon, and soy. Coloring using these dyes does not require mordants.
Also fibre-reactive dyes use les salt, heavy metals, and water than normal dyeing agents.
Like the name suggests, bio-degradable dyes, do not require using heavy metals, amines, and inorganic salts. Hence they easily get decomposed without leaving any landfill in the environment.