If you’re looking for sustainable fabrics for sewing, chances are you know that conventional cotton is a no-no, and you probably shy away from petroleum-based fabrics like polyester, but what about the dyes that give all of those fabrics their vibrant colors?
Luckily, many organic fabric-makers already use dyes that are far superior to conventional fabric dye. Fiber reactive dyes, for example, are much easier for fabrics to absorb, which means less pollution in the waste water from the dye process.
Water pollution is one of the major problems with many fabric dyes. After clothing goes through the dye bath, companies need to dispose of all of that water. In China, the Pearl River is heavily polluted because denim factories have been dumping their waste water there for years. Here’s a video that illustrates how much damage conventional dye processes can do:
So, how can you opt out of this process? If you’re a crafter, one sustainable (and fun!) option is to dye your own fabric at home with natural, food-based dyes that you make yourself. If you’ve never tried making your own fabric dyes, don’t fret! Check out the next page for basic instructions and some ideas for kitchen ingredients that make the best fabric dyes.
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