Natural Dye (Part 1 of 5): About Natural Dye

Brief Description

Nothing feels better than be surrounded by nature and the feeling of being at ease. At Asian Secrets, we believe in making your life an endless and unforgettable journey through Asian resort living and lifestyle. Get comfortable with soft, beautiful take-me-home apparels and accessories available for both men and women. What makes our products unique is that they are 100% naturally dyed; a specialty only proves that we care for you and the environment.


Brief History

Natural Dye is basically natural colorants derived from fruits, leaves, flowers, seeds, roots, bark of trees, lichens, dried insects and minerals. First written evidence of textile dyeing was recorded in China dated back in 2600 B.C. In Egypt of the Middle Kingdom, not only they master the art of dyeing textile but the use of mordant as well. Mordant is a type of mineral that is used to seal the dye to the textile fiber before or after the dye bath. With the invention of synthetic dyes in the mid nineteenth century, the use of natural dye has declined greatly. However, over the centuries the world has witnessed the dangers of chemical dye pollution and environmentally-conscious individuals and corporations have turned to natural dyes as a much safer choice.

There are various plants that can be turned into dyes, all of which has different lasting factor. Since the ancient times, these dye plants have remained as the most widely used materials: Indigo and woad for blue, alkanet and madder for red, marigold and saffron for yellow and oak bark and walnut hulls for gold and browns.

But you know the thing with plants; they grow according to specific climate and regions and not all dyes come from the same source. In Malaysia, most of the natural dyes come from fruit and vegetable peels, leaves, roots, seeds, and tree barks. Very rarely they come from dried insects. The ever widely used Indigofera Tinctoria (or “Tarum” in Malay) shrubs produce shades of blue. Purple dye can be extracted from Mangosteen peels. Onion skins can produce orange dye. Leaves like “daun ketapang” (Indian almond leaf) can produce brownish yellow dye and ferns (Dicranopteris linearis) obviously produce green dye. Flowers like “senduduk” (Straits Rhododendron or Melastoma Malabathricum) has seeds that can produce black dye and roots that can produce pink dye. Turmeric, or known in Malay as “kunyit”, grown vastly in South Asia and South East Asia, produces hues of yellow. A more durable colorant of yellows can also be derived from the bark of mango tree, jackfruit tree and heartwood tree.


Natural Dye Resources






 Continue to part 2: Natural Dye Textile

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