Saturday, January 10, 2015

Fact finding- natural colour

We are trying to refine exactly what we want to work with in our designs and the type of ingredients we would like to be able to offer prospective clients.
we are VERY CLEAR it is people and the work of the hand we value.
  • Home spun, hand weave fabrics....and who made them
  • Hand block print...environmental impact- low water volume needed for clear up, water based, solvent free pigment ink. Colourful and permanent...we have been watering these ins down and washing them onto the fabric for greater colour.
  • In the 'natural dye' range we have indigo, mud resist to make pattern and iron black.
  • Hand stitch- we have 77 women now gainfully employed- big, big yippee!!
The question of colouring fabric has arisen again....and it goes through my mind regularly....chemical dyes are so polluting and questionable. Add to that the difficulty of colour matching and colour fading and it is a nightmare we really want to avoid...but what is there to use that gives a good coverage of colour???

Yesterday we visited a new workshop that offers a range of options, rather limited and subdued but realistically all there is that can be sourced fairly close to us and won't fade out first wash.
1. INDIGO- love it, do lots of it
2. Natural iron black- fabric treated with halda - a plant extract mordant, the cloth is aged 3 weeks and then printed or dyed with natural iron black which is achieved by fermenting iron and jiggery sugar cake for 21 days. after printing/ dying and drying it is then boiled to become a very permanent black. nice and inky.
3. Kashish....still trying to translate exactly what this one is....been explained in hindi.
lovely soft grey colour, can be dyed. Here is it with mud resist creating the white.

4. this red is called Alizarin red, comes from a tree extract, again permanent, typical of our area of India
This is realistically the range of colours you can get on a scale for clothes/ home wares production.
not bad, not huge 

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