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What are Vegetable Dyes? Can I Make Them at Home?

Zain Anwar | Aug 04, 2015, 10:25 IST
What are Vegetable Dyes? Can I Make Them at Home?
A model in Deepika Govind.
The human civilization has always had a different and exaggerated appetite for colours. Owing this crush to the natural habitat around us, our love for colours has indeed matured over decades and has been stretched to unimaginable limits. Dyes were invented, discarded and reinvented in the history of mankind. The latest fad amongst them is vegetable dyes. Read, as Fashion101 explains the return of this age-old dyeing technique.
What are Vegetable Dyes?
Often termed as natural dyes, vegetable dyes, as the name suggests, are colouring agents that are drawn directly from nature. The colouring agents extracted from vegetables and spill it on the cloth. Traditionally, natural vegetable and fruit colours were used to dye fabrics. With time, and as mass produced goods became a rage, synthetic and chemical-based colours replaced natural dyes. Although the process is quicker and simpler, it does harm the fabric a little. And the environment, too. Vegetable dyes on the contrary extract the colour from vegetables, fruits and other natural elements and dissolve in water. As the fabric absorbs water, the colour, too, is soaked in and creates the wanted colour. Without exposing the fabric to further chemicals, natural hues are achieved on the fabric.

Where to Get it?
Several eco-conscious brands in India have adopted vegetable dyes to style their fabrics while several others are offering products which allow you to dye the fabric at home. Khadi and Himalaya are two products that offer several shades of vegetable dyes. They are available across Khadi stores in the nation and also online through several websites. Look it up!


Find out more by clicking on the following slides

  • Photo credit: Pinterest.2 of 2
    Photo credit: Pinterest.
    How to Create?
    Creating vegetable dyes at home is not a very tedious process either. Whichever colour you wish to imitate, take that vegetable chopped into tiny pieces.  Veggies like beetroot, spinach, eggplant peels, raw turmeric, coriander and red cabbage can easily be used. You can also use fruits like jamun, orange peels and more. Place it in a saucepan and cover it with twice the water. Simmer the solution for an hour and allow the solution to come to room temperature. Your vegetable dye is ready. You can dip cloth in it and dye your fabrics – naturally!
    Will you try vegetable dyes? Tell us in the comment box.