In today's fast paced world, natural dyeing is a slow, unhurried process that provides plenty of benefits.
But, it's nothing new.
Until synthetic dyes were introduced in the 1800’s, textiles were dyed using whatever grew locally; nuts, barks, plants or berries. Synthetic dyes then took over as they were cheap to produce and the colour could be easily replicated.
However, as consumers, we are increasingly aware of the negative impact that our choices have on the environment. There's a shift towards products made with conscience for both the health of the worker and our planet.
Natural dyes, aside not polluting like synthetic dyes, are a renewable resource. Anything picked for the dye pot can be re-planted for a continuous supply of dye material. Waste from the kitchen can also be used; from plant to plate to cloth.
The other great benefit of naturally dyed textiles is their uniqueness. No two products will ever be the same due to the subtle changes that occur in the dye bath.
Aside having a lustre that synthetic dyes can't match, some naturally dyed textiles also have the power to heal. In India, this is known as Ayurvastra.
When wearing cloth dyed with medicinal plants, our body can take advantage of its healing properties being absorbed into the skin. Conversely, our bodies also absorb toxic chemicals from synthetic dyes. It's worth considering not only what we eat for our health, but the cloth we wear next to our skin.