All our blue pigments are of mineral origin (Lapis lazuli), composed of lazurite (a calcium and sodium aluminosilicate), calcite and pyrite, and it was traditionally obtained heating clay. In ancient Egypt it was considered a stone of great value with which they made funeral jewels. In the Mediterranean it has been traditionally used to paint houses. In the Middle Ages it was used to produce the characteristic ultramarine blue pigment for painters, much appreciated among the great painters in Renaissance Europe for its stability and permanence of color, so it was called “the blue gold”. Leonardo da Vinci, Alberto Durero and Fra Angélico were some of the illustrious painters who used it in their works.
Black is the invisible existence. In Japan, the country where the black dress is more appreciated, is considered that black is the color of eternalness. But japanese ancient technique is very expensive and the clothing fabric becomes very rough and tough. It was a very difficult tincture, not suitable for our present needs.
At Greendyes we have improved the ancient thecniques, and today, dyeing in black is made in just one step. Our black finish has various kinds of shades, adding oxides, silicates or vegetable powder as madder, índigo or tea leaves. Each finishing has its specific black texture. All of these colorful finishings contribute to create deep black color, to satisfy the acute eyes of the contemporary world but not forgetting the traditionally cultivated knowledge.
RED AND VIOLET PIGMENTS
Tyrian purple, also known as Royal purple and Purple of the Ancients is the most ancient red pigment known, and also the most expensive. Extracting this dye involved much effort and much more time, because it was a four steps dyeing process that last several days. As a result, the dye was highly prized. The colour do not easily fade, but instead became brighter with weathering and sunlight. So the red-purple dyed textiles became status symbols.
At Greendyes we have improved the process of dyeing with tyrian red. By means of a lengthy trial and error process, we have rediscovered the process exploring the biochemical path behind fermentation. By now, we are able to dye with this color and derived shades of violet and purple using a single step process that make it suitable for the industry.
MINERAL REDS ANS OCHERS
Venetian red is a light and warm pigment derived from nearly pure ferric oxide. It is a red to brown earth color that it was often used in Italian Renaissance paintings. Darker than the scarlet, it is used in oil painting as usual for red pallettes and coverings. Pigments based on natural earth like reddish, ocher, orange and yellow tones come from around the entire Mediterranean coast. Extracted in open pit mines and cooked at high temperatures, these pigments are constituted by very fine particles with great coloring power. In the case of color tones based on yellow and orange it is ferric oxide with different concentrations of water. Brown iron oxide contains ferrous oxide, while red iron oxides are formed by the loss of water during the heating process. The blackish hue is a magnetic oxide product of the mixture of iron II and III, respectively, known in its natural form as magnetite.
VOLCANIC GREEN EARTH
Spinels are minerals of volcanic origin. Nature provides many different green minerals and many of these powders can be used to dye fabrics. Due to ion exchange during volcanic activity, spinels have very colorful tones. Throughout history, spinels have been marketed as semi-precious stones, becoming confused with rubies, sapphires or turquoise. Many of the green minerals were locally ground and used as pigments for artists. Some have greenish or yellowish, bluish and even black tones. The basis element of the most frequently used green minerals is iron, chrome or/and nickel. Some green earths, like clay or montmorillonite, are also used as facial mask due to its potent properties for skin detoxification.
BROWN, BURNT AND UMBRA EARTH PIGMENTS
Many earth tones originate from clay earth pigments, such as umber, ochre, and sienna. Earth pigments are naturally occurring minerals containing metal oxides, principally iron oxides and manganese oxides, that have been used since prehistoric times as pigments. The primary types are ochre, sienna and umber. After mining, the mineral used for making a pigment is ground to a very fine powder, washed to remove water-soluble components, dried, and ground again to powder. For some pigments, the color can be deepened by heating (calcination) in a process which involves dehydration. To dye textiles with natural earth pigments is a surprising experience, since it has never been done before.
TAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE: CHEMICAL OR NATURAL?
Using synthetic dyes is cost-effective and may allow to your textile a lower price…, but part of good business practice is finding solutions for your needs that are sustainable and that has the least negative impact on the environment.
Natural dyes are perceived as harmless and safe for the environment. We have solved the common problems of the classical mordants used traditionally while naturally dyeing: all the raw materials are traceable, non toxic, environmentally.
Synthetic dyes recover the fibre just as a polymer painting, coating the base material with a uniform layer. By contrast, the molecules in natural dyes combine with the fibres, not covering it, but bonding to it. In the case of synthetic dyes, what touches the skin is not the fibre, but the synthetic dye, generating allergenic reactions. With the natural dyes what touches the skin is the natural fibre and/or the natural pigment.
TAKING THE RIGHT CHOICE: COLOR
Natural dyes are aesthetically superior to synthetic dyes: they evolve and mature well and develop a characteristic patina when exposed to sunlight and normal use, providing a pleasant appearance, with slightly irregular tones. Natural dyes fade softly and unevenly, leaving lighter shades that are just as beautiful, if not more, than the original color. Like wine, which contains many phenolic compounds that give it the complexity of aroma and color, natural dyes also contain a multiplicity of molecules which are responsibles of the complexity of color, of the relief and of the maturation of color and aging and wear of the fabric. Natural dyes make different shades all along their life. When these natural dyes are exposed to the sun light and to wear, they leave lighter tones, which makes them to look beautiful in different way than their original colors. Like Denim does. The slight color differences is a positive aspect to consider.
Natural dyes have a range of colors that are much more compatible and harmonious than chemical dyes. The natural dyes are more aesthetic, because they are not unique hues, and so the natural colours convey harmony, not only call attention by its brightness. The natural and harmonious combination makes a high value for the consumer.
The colors obtained from natural sources tend to be softer and subtle, richer in a chromatic range. These colors and shades are subtle and tend to harmonize with one another. Synthetic dyes often produce striking colors.
Natural color is inherently more muted than chemical color, which looks very stark. Colors obtained from natural sources tend to be earthy and subtle. But the use&abuse of a naturally dyed garment makes it even more attractive.
Color created from natural elements lasts much longer than chemical dyes. The wear effect in a natural dyed fabric gives to the apparel a new life and a new color patina while it becomes aged. The synthetic dyes fade all the color uniformly, so the effect is not of aging, but of a lost of beauty. Moreover, synthetic dyes, when at all degraded, are full of byproducts that are directly or indirectly proven to be health hazards. Natural dyes completely degrade under natural conditions.
Natural dyes have minimum environmental impact, since they come from natural sources; they are are biodegradable. All our natural colors are obtained from renewable sources that can be exploited without the consequent harm to the environment.
The use of natural dye avoids allergies related to chemical products. Due to the absence of toxic waste, naturally dyed fabrics are more pleasant and beneficial for the skin. A naturally dyed Greendyes clothe is a non toxic garment, preserving the health of the user (and the workers).