Dye

Vegetable Dyes

Third most important group of dyes is the Vegetables dyes group. Although they can be obtained from almost any plant but most important were madder, woad, and indigo. Madder (Rubia tinctorum), A bright red dye, comes from a plant of the same name also known as “dyer’s root.” Though its origin is lost in antiquity, it was used to dye the wrappings on Egyptian mummies. It is said that Alexander the Great used madder to help him defeat the Persians in 350 B.C. He had many of his soldiers dye their cloaks with splotches of red and stagger onto the… Read More »Vegetable Dyes

Energy Saving Dye

Scientists at Oregon State University have developed a blue pigment. Mas Subramanian and his students have this to their credit. The dye is environmentally friendly and nontoxic. It is called YInMn Blue. This is good news, because many inorganic blues are toxic or cause cancer, such as Prussian blue, cobalt blue, or ultramarine blue. There is yet another property this dye possesses. It reflects light from sunlight especially in the infrared (heat) part of the spectrum. It is about 40% higher in reflectivity than most blue colors. This could prove to be ideal for paints used on cars, roofs, and… Read More »Energy Saving Dye

Henna

It is a natural dye derived from green henna leaves and is used to decorate the body with intricate designs in India and Pakistan. The hands and legs of the brides and her friends are adorned with intricate designs using a paste made from ground henna and juice of lemon. Motifs include birds, animals and geometrical patterns. Application of henna causes a cooling effect. It is also a fact that longer this stays on the hands more is the color darker. So after application to prevent the paste from flaking off, small amounts of lemon juice and sugar are applied.… Read More »Henna

Cochineal Red: The Bright Red Dye

In the ancient world of the Aztecs, red dye was considered more valuable than gold. The dye is made from the dried female cochineal beetles. Beetles were collected by hundreds of subjects combing the desert in search of its source. A pound of water-soluble extract required about a million insects, just as back in the days of the Roman Empire, a pound of royal purple dye required four million mollusks. After the arrival of Cortez in the 1500s, the Spaniards traded the dried remains of this insect as a colorant that dyed items a brilliant crimson. Cochineal red was a… Read More »Cochineal Red: The Bright Red Dye

More of Dyes: Animal Dyes

As told previously, the dyes were made from the minerals and natural rocks. The examples of these were Ochre Dyes which are the iron oxide compounds. Second group of natural dyes is the animal group. One of the earliest and most important of the animal dyes called Tyrian Purple was obtained from several species of snails found along the shores of the Mediterranean. It was discovered by the Phoenicians about 1500 B.C. and became, for the next 3000 years, the most important dye of the civilizations that rose and fell in the area. The demand for mollusks rose rapidly as… Read More »More of Dyes: Animal Dyes