Contrary to the exotic feel of the term “Zero Waste Natural Dyeing”, it is a simple process – much simpler in its form than its synthetic counterpart. What can be more straightforward than extracting color present in the environment and fixing it on cloth? This is exactly what we do: cloth that is pure nature in its true essence. Using organic cloth, we treat it to color that has been extracted from herbs in eco-friendly processes. These are herbs that are renowned for their medicinal values and are a gift of nature. This is not a new found process – it was a common technique from Indus Valley civilization (Ancient India). Historically done by hand and on small scale, we here at Maateehave figured out how to naturally dye a variety of cloth types at large scale manufacturing making it feasible in today’s demanding market.
We do not believe in the corruption of nature and its resources, and thus we only provide fabric that is completely organic as well as has no traces of synthetic or chemical dyes. Authenticity is our asset.
THE NATURAL DYEING PROCESS –
The process of natural dyeing starts with the certified organic gray (greige) cloth passing through several stages of treatment before it becomes colorful and ready to use. During this entire treatment only natural processes are used.
The washing of processed greige cloth starts with removing sizing, gums and oils used in the course of weaving by washing with natural mineral-rich water and sea salts.
Fabrics are exposed to direct sunlight and use of plant amylase and sea salt base starts the bleaching process.
To make the colors bright and fast, natural mordants such as myrobalan, rhubarb leaves, oils, minerals, alum, iron vat etc are used. We do not use heavy metal mordants like copper, chrome, zinc, tin, etc.
We use only medicinally rich herbs, plant material, minerals & oils like, turmeric, myrobalan, sea salt, etc for dyeing fabric or yarn. We have aspired to achieve and retain the medicinal qualities of the herbs by immersing the plant material directly in the dye bath for the same reason.
Finishing is done by sprinkling pure water on the cloth and then stretching under pressure, using hand rolls, aloe vera, castor oil etc. See below for the different colors we can get from the different plants.
ZERO WASTE –
After the dyeing process is complete nothing is wasted – the solid and liquid waste is separated through the process of filtration. Since we use only plant material the solid material gets converted to manure and the liquid gets used for watering farms. Fabric scraps, usually buried in landfills are re-purposed as mattress filling, cotton waste is up-cycled into handmade paper and unused yarn is recycled.
Chemical dyeing processes use over 8000 different chemicals in its various stages and as much as 40 times the weight of the fabric in water. Even the “eco-friendly dyeing” or “low impact dyeing” available on organic cotton is still being dyed using large amounts of chemicals and dyes but in permissible limits. So they may be LOW impact but certainly not NO impact.
no common name exists in English, but harad or harda