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Vegetable Dyes
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Vegetable Dyes for your Hairs

The vegetable dyes, are also known as natural dyes. The vegetable dyes, are very superior than synthetic dyes. Some vegetable dyes are much more fugitive in color or even damaging to the wool than the "synthetic" dyestuff that yields the equivalent shade.

Common Vegetable Dyes:

There are varieties of vegetable dyes. These dyes can be grouped into five categories: leaf dyes, bark dyes, flower and fruit dyes, stem and root dyes, and mineral dyes.

Leaf Dyes: It is the most common used vegetable dyes. The species of leaf dyes are as: Symplocos sp., Strobilanthes flaccidifolious, Holicia nilagirica and Indigofera.

Bark Dyes: The bark dyes are mainly extracted from species such as: Terminalia tomentosa, Berberis nepalensis, Acacia spp., and Alnus sp.

Flower and Fruit Dyes: The flower and fruit dyes are the most important category of natural dyes. Their fruit can be used as mordants. Particularly important are khomany-shing, robtangshing, churoo, amla, Cedrala toona, Michelia champaka and Mallotus phillipenensis.

Stem and Root Dyes: Stem and root dyes are used for many varied purposes.

Mineral Dyes: The mineral dyes are found throughout Bhutan, these dyes are obtained from natural mineral salts and oxidized iron.

  • There are a number of dye-yielding plants in Bhutan. The indigo, madder and larkspur are the most commonly used vegetables dyes. These dyes produce, respectively, dark navy blue, dark rusty-red, and muted gold. Dyers combine colours to produce different hues.
  • Pure Vegetable dyes are basically harmless and do not require allergy tests. It is unlikely that any adverse skin reaction or hairshaft damage would result from their use.
  • Camomile is a vegetable dye. The active ingredient is Apigenin. It is obtained from dried flowers of the Camomile plant. It coats the hairshaft adding a yellowish hue.
  • Some 'vegetable' dyes may contain permanent oxidation dye ingredients which makes the product potentially harmful to certain persons. Please therefore read and understand the ingredients content before use.
    Tunisian Henna where available is not a vegetable dye as it contains metallic salts and is classed as an inorganic dye.

Making dye is not very different from making coffee or tea: First grind or chop the material into fine pieces or powder using a kitchen knife, a mortar and pestle, a blender, or a coffee grinder. It is often a good idea to soak the dry vegetable matter for a bit before proceeding. Woodier types of dye sources will need to be soaked a bit longer, sometimes for a whole day or more. A good rule of thumb is to put the dye stuff on to soak the night before you plan to cook it. Allow to come to room temperature before proceeding.



Vegetable Dyes