Source: Indian Silk

Silk having good affinity for colours, and the natural dyes coming back in demand for various advantages as well as eco-concern, efforts are being made to develop extracts for suitable natural dyes. The article presents details of study conducted to dye mulberry and tasar silks with extracts of Acatia catechu, evaluate impacts of dyeing on certain parameters and the effect of anti-microbial content on the silk fabrics.

Silk is widely known for its unique lustre, tactile properties, durability, and dye ability, supported with unusual mechanical properties. It also displays interesting thermal and electro-magnetic responses, particularly in the Ultra Violet range.' Silk has excellent dyeing affinity and is capable of rendering colours in a unique way. The silk fibre is triangular in section and when several yarns are twisted together, they offer a number of dimensions that reflect light.

Natural dyes have been a part and parcel of mankind's life since time immemorial, and well, it had been a common practice in India. In the past few years, there has been great interest in the textiles and garments that offer enhanced comfort as well as protection to the wearer. After a period of setback, natural dyes have made a comeback, more due to consciousness of the consumers.


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The authors are with the Department of Textiles and Clothing, Avinashilingam University for Women, and PSG College of Arts and Science College, Peelamedu, Coimbatore, respectively.

Originally published in Indian Silk: September 2009