More and more artisans are turning to natural alternatives when dyeing their products. However, not everyone can or is comfortable using modern-day dyes filled with unknown chemicals. For those who are vegan, have sensitive skin, or simply want to know more about organic alternatives, here are the types of natural dyes used in artisan throw pillows.
Plants and Roots
Since the dawn of dyes, plants and their parts have been used to make vibrant fabrics. Sometimes they would be used to dye large pieces of cloth, but often, dyeing in smaller sections or dyeing the string produces a more vibrant and concentrated color. So now, people dye their yarn with marigold, safflower, pomegranate, onion skins, and other natural ingredients.
However, these plants don't always give you the color you expect. For example, onion skins produce a deep maroon-brown to a golden-yellow color, while pomegranate rind powder produces soft green yellows. More common natural dyes that you can find in your kitchen are blueberries, red cabbage, beets, spinach, and radishes. All these plants can be used to dye fabric, yarn, or string to produce beautiful colors.
Purple, long considered to be a color of royalty, was extracted from the Murex snail to produce Tyrian purple. Lac, Kermes, and most popularly Cochineal are used to produce striking reds and crimsons by crushing up their scales and body into powders.
While most people confuse this dye with red 40, this is not the case. Red 40 is made from petroleum. Carmine is a dye made from cochineals, which takes about 70,000 insects to create one pound of dye.
It is important for vegans and vegetarians to know that some of the most vibrant of dyes are made using insects and snails. You should always check in with your craftsman to know where they source their dyes from.
Nuts and Spices
You're most likely aware of the popular spice dye turmeric, which produces a gorgeous golden yellow. However, saffron, coffee, and paprika all make some of the most vibrant natural dyes on the market. Typically, people think of the stains blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and blackberries make. But because of their sugar content and chemical makeup, they don't stick as well. Powdered spices, however, are easy to come by, last longer, and produce a more vibrant color.
Now that you know about the types of natural dyes used in artisan throw pillows, you can make more informed decisions about the decorative handmade pillows you choose so you can shop without fear. These natural dyes are not limited to pillows. Check out our vast selection of rugs that use the same natural dyes to give beautifully accentuated color and vibrancy through all-natural color pigmentation. Happy decorating!