Textile Society of America


Date of this Version



Presented at “Textiles and Settlement: From Plains Space to Cyber Space,” Textile Society of America 12th Biennial Symposium, Lincoln, Nebraska, October 6-9, 2010. Copyright 2010 Textile Society of America.


The use of natural dyes has attracted increasing worldwide attention as the carcinogenicity and environmental pollution problem of synthetic pigments are becoming a great concern. In this paper, leaf, bark, and fruit covering of the walnut tree were used to extract dye for obtaining a color palette on natural protein fibers. Wool and silk fabrics were pre-mordanted by four metallic mordants i.e. alum, tannic acid, copper sulphate, ferrous sulphate and three natural mordants i.e. tea, coffee and pomegranate, at three different pH
conditions (self, acidic and alkaline) for development of a color palette. Dyed samples were tested for color yield using spectrophotometer to measure the K/S and CIE l*a*b* values, and wash, light, and rub fastness properties were also tested using standard test methods. Utilizing the results of the experimentation, a product line of fashion accessories i.e. three bags and three stoles was envisaged and to add value to these products, different techniques of tie and dye were employed. These products were divided into three categories as: silk, wool and combination of silk and wool.

The color obtained from fruit was on the red-yellow quadrant of the color system while that of bark and leaf in the green-yellow. Overall it was observed that leaf and bark shades were very similar but the fruit gave a different color palette. It was also seen that the shades obtained with a metallic mordant like alum or tannic acid were more or less similar to that of pomegranate, tea, or coffee and thus these natural mordants could be used to replace the metallic mordants. In general wash, rub, and light fastness ranged from moderate to excellent.

Tie and dye technique of knotting and lehariya (diagonal line patterns) were used for the products. Different color schemes were tried in single and double colors with simultaneous dyeing for the product line. Most of the respondents (95%) appreciated the effects created by the tie and dye techniques, the muted color palette of walnut dye, and the design aspects of the accessories.