If you love handmade techniques, or if you are interested in what happens behind the clothes you wear every day, you may have noticed that many old processes are being used again today, allowing us to reconnect with nature and culture through the hands of artisans that put all their knowledge and soul into unique and responsible pieces of art.
In this article we will go a little deeper into Eco Printing, its benefits, and why it should be given more recognition and support in the textile world for its great role in raising awareness of the planet and the environment.
Much has been known about the negative attributions in the environment at the hands of the textile world. Let us remember that for years synthetic and chemical techniques have been used causing waste that is highly toxic both for the environment and for human beings in general which has caused environmental defenders to denounce and protest for alternatives that are friendly to the environment.
People are beginning to talk about terms as ethical clothing, slow fashion, and responsible production, giving us an insight of what is coming and where the industry is actually heading.
So, what is Eco Printing?
Eco printing is known for being a method to dye fabrics intelligently and respectfully with the environment.
Inks are created based on natural elements such as flowers, plants, fruits, and more, which are used to dye all type of fabrics giving us a huge number of options to be able to create entirely new pigments through responsible production without using any toxic or synthetic substances, in a way that is healthy for the environment and the people.
During the application of this printing process, no chemicals are used, but rather acids and oxides of 100% natural origin. But to achieve an optimal result, it is strictly necessary to previously treat all the fabrics on which the technique will be applied with mineral products for the subsequent fixation of all the pigments in the fabrics.
Where do these natural dyes come from?
Handmade natural dyes are nothing new. The ability to use these natural elements to color fabrics has been known since ancient times. The Phoenicians were known and famous for their amazing dyeing techniques. The Indians were also considered masters in coloring cotton, while the Chinese were experts in silk.
Throughout history, especially that of the textile world, natural dyes have played an important and key role in the trade of fabrics, which was responsible for making the economy evolve in all kind of the different cultures until the arrival of synthetic dyes, which were the logical replacement because it facilitated the work and therefore a faster and more efficient production, creating as a consequence, all the problems that we all know today.
One of the reasons why these techniques are being re-adopted by hand is the growing awareness of the planet and the impact that the fashion industry has on the environment and the quality of life of those involved in the production of all the clothes we consume. Worldwide. For its part, eco printing is one of the key pieces in the development of sustainable fashion, ethical clothing, and responsable production.
Here are some of the benefits giving recognition to eco printing and natural dyes:
- A respectful and aware production is carried out without harming the enviroment or the people involved in the production process
- It can create unique garments in terms of color tones and intensity.
- They are completely safe for human use.
- It can be used to give clothing a second life.
- It considerably reduces the amount of waste generated and the consumption of water.
- It eliminates the risk of environmental contamination by chemical substances in water, soil, and air.
Natural Dyes and the Future
There are big clothing brands that already offer products that are dyed naturally and organically setting the standard for future brands
As long as consumers continue to support and give value to what they truly believe in, the fashion industry will be forced to make changes and respond, generating a positive impact on the ethical fashion industry, in this case, helping to reinforce and revalue an ancient and artisanal technique that can be evolved and improved with the help of new technologies and human innovation.
To close this topic, we leave you some natural elements that have been used since ancient times to give color in the eco printing process.
- Red: raspberries
- Orange: onion skin, carrots
- Yellow: lemon peel, celery leaves
- Green: mint leaves, spinach, other herbs.
- Blue: purple grapes and blueberries
- Purple: red cabbage
- Red-purple: blueberries and basil leaves.
- Pink: strawberries, roses, and avocado skins
- Brown: Acorns and coffee
- Red-Brown: bamboo and pomegranates
- Black or gray: blackberries
We must learn how to appreciate the values of this ancient technique along with the time and patience it requieres to handmade garments that add value, culture and meaning to our closet.