Natural dyes and the dyeing process

One of the biggest challenges of the modern fashion industry is to adopt non polluting production processes with low environmental impact. There is an enormous opportunity to learn from ancestral techniques, the methods that have historically lived in communion with the environment, culture and natural resources without leaving negative traces.


The use of natural dyes by mankind dates back to prehistoric times; In those distant times, primitive humans used what they found in their natural environment to dye skins and tissues. The tinctures were extracted from vegetables, minerals and animals by cooking them or through contact with the materials to be dyed.


Natural dyeing and its language are part of the peasant knowledge that advocates a land work with planetary projection but with a local focus. It takes root in the indigenous techniques that have been transmitted from generations to generations for ages. The indigenous families jealously guarded the secrets of dyeing techniques and only transmitted it to their descendants. In ancient civilizations, the dyers were part of the high hierarchy on the social scale.


HechoXNosotros, together with animaná, work respecting nature and its occupants, and from that collaboration animaná create their unique models. The natural dyeing process is based on colorants taken from the vegetation and minerals present in the Nature. First the important thing is to have the most pure water possible to wash the textile fibers. Formerly the ancient dyers and aboriginal weavers reserved rainwater to do so. The fat contained in the wool must be removed to obtain even staining. To dye you have to boil for at least an hour the chosen vegetable or mineral, which is then left to soak. Subsequently, when the water is extracted, the wool is placed and heated again for a few more minutes to affirm the color - sometimes the process can take more than two days. Finally, the wool must be rinsed successively until the water is transparent. To prevent the wool from fading, mordants are used. Among the most common is salt and fire stone, but formerly Mapuche women used their own urine for example.


Textiles can go through dyeing at any stage of their manufacture process: fiber, thread or fabric. From HechoXNosotros, we want to enhance the history of each textile tradition because we believe that the transmission of ancestral knowledge from generation to generation is fundamental, so that they are not lost and continue to inspire others and help create non polluting techniques.



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