Each week, we are emailed with questions from our natural dye community asking simple and complex questions that we thought might be worth sharing. Here are a handful from this week answered by natural dyer in chief, Kathy Hattori, Founder of Botanical Colors:
Are all synthetic dyes made from petroleum?
Synthetic dyes are a huge category of colorants and they are derived mainly from benzene or benzene-like chemicals, which are among the primary petrochemicals. When they were first developed, they were called coal-tar dyes as they were developed from coal.
Check out this article on our blog that covered this a bit.
What’s the difference between a low-impact dye and a natural dye?
Early generations of synthetic fiber reactive dyes used large amounts of fixatives, water and heat. This is the most common dye for cellulose fibers and many tons are used annually to dye textiles. The dyestuff was reformulated to lower its toxicity, chemical, water and energy use and it has met with approval by several organic certifying organizations as it is an improved version of the older fiber reactive colors. Therefore the clever marketing term of “low-impact” is used when referring to these dyes.