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TNAU students create eco friendly dye out of almond leaves

YarnsandFibers News Bureau 2015-02-28 12:00:00 – Madhurai

Students in the apparel and design fashion technology department of Tamil Nadu Agricultural University (TNAU) recently exhibited their project on almond leaves as potential sources for natural dyes at the Vivasaya Thiruvizha (agricultural festival).

The students explained that a component called phenol gave almond leaves which have a great staining capacity is being tried on cotton fabrics as a more eco-friendly replacement to chemical dyes. They were making use of this property to propose a much more safer and eco-friendly dyeing substance. The colour of the dye depends on the amount of phenyl present in the leaves.

Colours are fixed on the fabric with the help of a 'mordent'. Most fabrics have chemical substances as mordants, which could prove hazardous to health.

However, the students are using natural mordants like alum and ferrous sulfate. Currently, they are trying out the dyes on cushion covers and handbags.

T Padmini, professor of Textile Department, TNAU, said that many of these dye products are also used in dyeing fabrics like Bandhani sarees or salwars. It is called the tie-dye process, wherein the fabric is tied at various ends to leave the color on the fabric. Our idea is to try eco-friendly ways to use farm resources.

Professors from the home science department in the university said they were planning to introduce the product in the market after related tests were conducted.

Publishing the product in the market involves a lengthy process, since various tests need to be conducted to understand the fastness of the dye. Thereafter, dye manufacturers will be enlightened on how it is produced.

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