Almost all our scarves get their color from natural dye, because:
- The coloring process does not pollute
- The paint, and also the fabric, does not smell
- The wearer of the scarf is less likely to suffer from allergic reactions Because there are no chemicals in the scarf
- Because nature is spared
Making natural dye takes time
Making natural dye is an intensive and time-consuming process. It starts with collecting plants, fruits, wood, soil, etc… . The dye is then extracted from these raw materials. Finally, to dye our skeins of yarn. Only after drying does the yarn go to the loom.
Because the process to make natural dye is labour-intensive and the colors are less bright (read less chemical), artificial dyes from the factory are quickly used. A choice that does not take into account the polluting properties of chemical dyes. Or, in some cases, with allergic reactions in the weavers and the buyers of the woven fabrics.
Also read: A sustainable scarf
Growing environmental awareness and tradition lend a hand
Even though natural dye is more expensive, growing environmental awareness has made our weavers more and more open to its use. Often they learned from parents and grandparents how natural dyes are made. Age-old techniques are applied. It also makes the scarves more valuable. They are proud of it.
Dan from Loei
Thus we met in the province Loei Dan. He supports his small family. Dan has always lived in the countryside and is committed to the poor farming population near his village.
Due to the increasing demand for organically dyed fabrics in recent years, he has specialized in the natural dyeing of yarn. He brings his naturally colored yarns to the weavers in the area.
Dan and his mother sell the woven fabrics in local markets. And we also lend him a hand because in our store we also sell scarves from Loei.
The price too often determines the choice
He told us that he is disappointed in the behavior of manufacturers and consumers. The chemical dyeing of fabrics pollutes our planet. And all this to produce cheaply, while nature often offers us clean alternatives.
By only making products with natural dyes, he tries to contribute to a cleaner environment.
The scarves Dan sells are dark blue, a color that comes from the indigofera tinctoria plant. In Asia, this indigo plant is a native plant. The crop is specially grown for its dye.
We know the pigment of this plant mainly from dark blue jeans.
After harvesting, the leaves of the indigo plant are chopped and cooked. After that, fermentation of this brew creates a yellowish liquid.
Only after this slurry has fermented enough, by adding oxygen, is the dye that turns the cotton blue.
First dye, then weave
Dan dyes the threads of cotton by hand. He then takes the colored cotton to women from villages in the area who make scarves and garments for him.
In the dry months of the year, when there is little work on the land, the villagers try to earn money in this way.
Scarves from Dan from Loei: