The globalization of markets and increasing demand for products has created a deep interest in the use of raw materials from natural resources. The natural dyes, especially vegetable colourants have aroused considerable interest in dyeing of textiles due to their eco-friendly nature and harmful effect of synthetic dyes. The major advantages of natural dyes are that they are biodegradable, non-carcinogenic, non- mutagenic and colours soothing to human eyes. Dyeing with natural dyes can be a way of value addition to the textile products say Gill and Singh (2003).

Owing to the eco-friendly, eco-conservation, eco-protection and concern over the depleting eco-system and also the global consciousness about the use of eco- friendly dyes due to the hazardous and carcinogenic effect among synthetic dyes, natural dyes are preferred over synthetic dyes (Rani and Singh, 2003).

The main problem with natural dyeing are the dye uptake is not good and variety and intensity of the colours are not adequate Deo and Paul (2003) revealed that majority of the natural dyes need a mordant in the form of a metallic salt to create affinity between the fibre and the pigment. While the natural dyes are themselves harmless, the metallic mordants are not generally eco-friendly. In order to develop a totally eco-friendly natural dyeing process, it is necessary to replace the metallic mordants with more eco-friendly processed mordants. The idea of using processed mordants is to reduce the usage of chemicals and to find out the effect of dye uptake, colourfastness and related parameters as well as reconstruction and revival of traditional dyeing techniques.

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This article was originally presented in ATNT 2007 held on 18-20, June 2007 at Kumaraguru College of Technology, Coimbatore, India. The authors are associated with Department of Family and Community Science, Avinashilingam Deemed University, Coimbatore.