Creative Women

Revival of the Lost Knowledge of Natural Dyeing

It feels like we humans have lived in the last century as if natural dyeing has never existed, as if we have always been using synthetic dyes. We know so little about natural dyeing and it feels like it totally disappeared from our daily lives, especially in the cities.

Just a few generations ago, our ancestors knew all about natural dyeing. They used to wear naturally-dyed garments, colored the walls of their houses with natural pigments and even used natural pigments for their cosmetics.


In fact it has always been there, right from the beginning of the history of humankind. Over 15.000 years ago, our ancestors used natural pigments to decorate the walls of the caves.


They have been used extensively in many aspects of daily life since then- until in 1856, a scientist researching a treatment for malaria accidentally found the first synthetic purple dye in history. From then on, during the industrial revolution, the synthetic chemistry and the use of synthetic dyes have grown very fast due to the fact that they were more cost effective than natural dyes. This affected the cultivation of natural dye plants and by the beginning of 1900, they almost completely disappeared.


However, the environmental changes and their impact on our daily lives led many of us to re-establish our perception of consumption. This stimulated an increasing demand for color pigments from natural and renewable materials again.


This tendency seems to increase over the years, and hopefully, these conscious choices will have a positive impact on our future.


Ebru Corches

Dahlia textiles

International Creative Women

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