The Uniqueness and Multidimensional Usage of Natural Dyes

Written by: Abayomi O. Adetuyi


Natural dyes applications to industrial products release their medicinal properties on the goods as well as improving the aesthetic value of the product. Natural dyes are unique in that they are eco-friendly and non-carcinogenic. They are new all times and never aged.

Key Words: Flora, industrial products, medicinal, natural dyes, uniqueness


Colouring matters, which may be classified as dyes and pigments, have been exploited by man for their aesthetic values and used to embellish various articles and the environment in which man lived over the centuries. Starting with Indigo, the oldest known dye, originating from India; the royal Phoenician's dye, Tyrian purple (or Royal Purple), of the ancient city of Tyre; Alizarin, among the Turkey people and Cochineal, of the European and Mexican dyers, indigenous dye-yielding plants have been discovered in almost every region of the world. Hence, it is not new, yet it is new, based on your locality, awareness (through researches, either formal or informal) of the potentialities of these 'nature bestowed gifts' and what nature itself, had bestowed in that locality. This nature's gift could be derived from both plants and animals. Beautiful colour can be obtained from the onion papery brown skins. It has been reported that lichens and some wild species of mushrooms, are reliable organic source of beautiful dye colours, covering the whole visible spectrum range.

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About the Author

The author is associated with Department of Industrial Chemistry, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Currently he is with Natural Products Laboratory, Organic-1 Division, Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT), Hyderabad, A.P, India.