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Eco-friendly natural dyes for brighter textiles
01
Jun '10
The art of natural dyeing was nearly lost when synthetic dyes were introduced to the global market. Today, natural dyes are being revived and gaining popularity again with the increasing environment protection awareness. Natural dyes are obtained from roots, bark, wood, berries, lichens, insects, shellfish and flowers among others.

The increasing demand for more eco-friendly dyeing techniques led to the development of different R&D programs that would support the production of equally environment-friendly textile products. The Philippine Textile Research Institute (PTRI) responded to this demand through the project Pilot Scale Verification of Selected Natural Dye Powder Production and Textile Application Technologies.

With the assistance of the technical monitors of the Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development (PCIERD-DOST), the PTRI developed a pilot scale production technology for seven selected dye sources namely: Annatto, Mahogany, Duhat, Talisay, Yellow Ginger, Sampalok and Indigo.

According to Julius Leaño, project leader, majority of these dye sources showed passing and satisfactory results on colorfastness test results. In addition, color uniformity and reproducibility of the selected dye sources were improved and established.

These eco-friendly natural dyes have superior affinity to fabric materials compared to liquid dyes. Similar to synthetic dyes, the natural dye powder has good shelf life and reproducibility. It exhibits good colorfastness to washing and light when applied to the materials.

Under the Technology Business Incubation (TBI) of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), the technology was enhanced to create new livelihood for those who want to venture out in these technologies. Seeing its market potential, the PTRI is now looking for possible technology takers.

It intends to forge partnerships and collaborations with private sector cooperators and entrepreneurs to ensure continuous development and innovation of the technologies and also increase promotion and awareness on the availability, use and commercial production and application of natural dye powders.

Philippine Council for Industry and Energy Research and Development

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