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.