“Thou shalt make the tabernacle with ten curtains of twisted linen, and blue and purple and scarlet…(Exodus 26:1)”
These lines from Holy book “Bible” show the humans obsession for colors. Humans have been always been fascinated with color. The competitors of our forefather “homo sapiens”, prepared their dead for burial by coating their bodies with red ochre, which is actually Ferric oxide.
After them, Cro-Magnon made cave paintings using for colors yellow and red iron oxides, black manganese dioxide and white clays. These are natural materials available as rocks and salts for tens of thousands of years. This continued until the invention of weaving and clothes.
Pigments had been made by combining colored minerals with a vehicle, such as oil or mud, that would adhere to a surface. When the paste-like pigments were applied to fabric, the cloth became stiff, and the coloring material soon washed or fell out.
Pigments wouldn’t work—cloth could only be colored by dyes, organic molecules that bond directly to the textile. So colors which adhered to cloth and became insoluble afterwards. And also they should be soluble in the water. This was usually achieved by adding chemical compounds like alum which contain metallic ions which act as binder for cloth and dye.