Dyeing condition for Pashmina wool yarn using natural colourant from cochineal was characterized for dye bath exhaustion, K/S value and fastness properties. It is observed that cochineal dye exhausted better at 50-60oC in 120-150 minutes than other conditions. The colourant was exhausted between 80 and 95% with K/S value ranging from 0.526 to 0.816 with very good washing (4-5) and light fastness (6-7) at standard condition.


Cochineal, Dye bath exhaustion, Fastness, K/S value, Pashmina


Pashmina wool, a finest speciality hair fiber is generally used for production of superior quality shawl and stole. In fashion world at national and international levels, its products have great demand due to its fibre fineness (10-14m), firmness, warmth, durability, lightness and softness. Generally the aesthetic value of Pashmina products could be improved by application of natural dye extracted from locally available vegetable sources. Even though the vegetable dyes give various colours on Pashmina materials, the local dyers are still pursuing some fashionable colours like purple, pale lilac to a deep violet, shade of prune and some pale shades. Here, Cochineal, an insect dye was used to dye natural textiles in particularly purple and scarlet red colour. The literature on application of cochineal on Pashmina wool was scanty. The present study aims to standardize the dyeing condition of a natural dye extracted from an insect called cochineal on Pashmina woolen yarn.

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Originally published in Journal of the Textile Association, July-Aug 2011.

About the authors

P. Temani & D. B. Shakyawar are associated with Division of Textile Manufacture and Textile Chemistry, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Jaipur, L. Ammayappan is associated with Mechanical Processing Division, NIRJAFT, Kolkata, V. Goyal is associated with Department of Chemistry, International College for Girls, Jaipur & S. A. Wani is associated with Division of LPT, SKUAST, Shuhuma, Srinagar.