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KAU identifies 12 plants to produce natural dyes
01
Sep '17
Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has identified 12 indigenous plants which can be used for manufacturing natural textile dyes. The discovery by the College of Agriculture (CoA), Vellayani, occurred during a study as part of the Western Ghat Development Programme (WGDP). These plants are capable of giving colour to cotton and silk textiles.

The new plants will provide an organic option for dyeing, according to a leading daily report.

The technology for using these plants for commercial textile industry has been standardised under another research project sponsored by the RKVY (Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana). The technology will help the development of eco-friendly and safe clothing, especially for newborns and people allergic to synthetic dyes, the report said.

“The research has opened up the possibility of using indigenous plants of Kerala as potential dye yielders. We are looking forward to industrial production of natural dyes for commercial textile industry,” KAU vice chancellor P Rajendran was quoted as saying in the report.

Plant dyes were used for garment dyeing and wall paintings till the advent of synthetic dyes in the 16th century. Awareness about the hazardous effects of chemical dyeing and chemical dye manufacturing has led to rethinking on the issue. The KAU effort was on these lines, the VC noted.

He said that the biochemical properties of these natural dye compounds had been deciphered, which would help identify the biomolecules in them. Going back to the safer, cheaper, and durable natural plant dyes would help the ecosystem and protect workers in dye manufacturing industry from harmful effects.

Kerala, especially the Western Ghats region, is gifted with a wide array of plants for manufacturing natural textile dyes. “We also have a treasure of traditional knowledge on temple wall paintings and in colouring traditional mats, among the rural and tribal people,” said P Indira Devi, director of research.

“The 12 natural dyes with five different mordants, of which three are natural, have been screened. All silk and cotton materials dyed with these pigments have been tested in South Indian Textile Research Laboratory (SITRA ) for colour fastness to light and stability to washing. Through this analysis, combinations of natural dye and natural mordant with good stability have been identified,” VG Jayalakshmi, principal investigator, said. (SV)

Fibre2Fashion News Desk – India


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