SCIENTISTS AT the Facility for Ecological and Analytical Testing Laboratory (FEAT) of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, (IIT-K) have developed a dyeing material from natural herbs and barks of trees. These dyes are chemical free and eco-friendly.
The use of herbal colouring agents will be a big boost to the country’s export business. Foreign buyers of Indian clothes and cloth material do not prefer chemical dyes and the use of herbal colours will attract this segment.
Chemical-based colours are not eco-friendly and clothes dyed with them can cause severe skin diseases.
Talking to Hindustan Times a senior scientist of the FEAT Dr Padma Vankar said all kind of silk cloth could be dyed using colours prepared from the bark of different trees. She said all the colours developed with the herbs were fast, lasting and attractive. These colours did not have any adverse effect upon the body, she added.
Dr Vankar said she had succeeded in developing more than 1000 colour shades from tree barks. Some of the common trees which were used for making colours were tulsi, arjuna, lac, teak, mehendi leaf, amaltash, eucalyptus, alum, katha.
Dr Vankar said now she was trying to discard the use of metals in generating new colours by using enzymes.
She said a large number of weavers and dyers, especially those in export business, were using these eco-friendly colours. There were countries that preferred non-chemical based colouring agents to give soothing effect to the body, she said.
She said at present there were about 15 dye-manufacturing units in the State which were using the herbal dye developed at IIT-K.
Anurag Gupta of Sir Naturals, where the IIT-K developed natural dye was being used, said he was manufacturing spray dried–powder at his plant with the help of German technology.