Why I Switched from Synthetic to Natural Dyes

The Surface Design Association News Blog just published a piece I wrote on dyeing.  Here is the link. The transition from synthetic to natural dyes and ingredients took some time, a lot of thought, and some real determination. I have reached the point of no return…..

Sodium hydrosulfite or thioruea dioxide was both the reduction agent for indigo/vat dyes and a discharge agent for fiber reactive dyes. Now I use plants and sugars to reduce the indigo vat and citric acid or lemon juice to discharge mordants.

14 thoughts on “Why I Switched from Synthetic to Natural Dyes

  1. Thank you so much Catharine for the link and the article..your move to natural color and how to work/play with it, is a mirror for me; I ” discovered” a wonderful multilevel fit in the botany, chemistry and other levels of growing and working with plant dyes (and for me (the contact printing) about 4 years ago…I have enjoyed your last two articles as well..and there is much more i can say…but I will just insert another thanks here!

  2. I am very interested in learning about using sugars with indigo and citric acid or lemon with to discharge mordants. Can you pass on resources? I’m not sure where to get that information.

    1. A good place to get started with this information is Michel Garcia’s DVD, , Colors of Provence, which he made with Natural Dye Workshop. The set includes two DVDs. The first one is about making an organic indigo vat. The second one is focused on printing with mordants and does include mordant discharge.

  3. Hi Catharine!
    I have to say I’ve been using your Woven Shibori book as a guide in my work the last few years…thank you for all the ideas you’ve inspired! I’m so excited to hear you’ve been transitioning to natural dyes and can’t wait to read what you’ve learned so far!

  4. Hi..
    This is interesting article..
    Organic or Natural dyes are best to use for coloring food items or with clothes. Dyes that are produced should be environment friendly and useful for all the customers.
    You can visit: http://www.riadyes.com for more information.

  5. Thank u so much for providing excellent work on natural dyeing ..i had done some that type of work ..its so good ..method .i had done on onion peel & lemon juice..in dicharge ..tech..i m enjoining..this..new tech..

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