Monday, January 19, 2009

‘Chemical colours are carcinogenic’

The Hindu, September 08, 2008

Workshop displays dyeing processes with eco-friendly colours

Say it with eco-friendly hues: Children have a dekko at the dyeing process at a workshop on Saturday.

HYDERABAD: An elaborate and tedious procedure of cleaning, seasoning and colouring remains hidden behind the matt-finished handloom garments that are embellished in natural dyes. The whole process manifested itself before the eyes of those who attended the workshop organised by the Dastkar Andhra at their retail stores ‘Daram’ on Saturday.

The workshop displayed dyeing processes in natural as well as chemical colours that are eco-friendly.

“Chemical colours containing naphthol and sulphur are not good for health. Some are even carcinogenic. Reactive dyes, though chemical in content, are eco-friendly and do not cause any harm. They are widely preferred for exports as clothes dyed in harmful chemicals are not accepted abroad,” says Durga Lakshmi from Dastkar Andhra.

Dyeing in natural colours needs about ten to fifteen days as the process involves boiling the yarn to remove impurities, treating it with suitable tannin, and giving the alum treatment before the actual dyeing. The process differs slightly for the reactive colours as the yarn does not need the tannin treatment.

About seven eco-friendly colours and ten shades among them may be derived with various combinations of ratanjog, pomegranate peel, alizarin and indigo, said Ms. Durga Lakshmi.

The workshop with three phases of demonstration was attended by the students from various institutes of fashion technology and aficionados of handlooms and eco-friendly colours. Also part of the workshop was the demonstration of ‘kalamkari’ block printing with natural dyes.

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