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The Wonders of Natural Fabric Dyes

Updated: Dec 11, 2020

In this article, we’ll learn the importance of using natural fabric dyes for sustainability, health and ethical reasons. We’ll also take a look at some stunning examples. And don’t fret… we’ll let you know where you can get your hands on these beauties!

Why your business should have natural fabric dyes
Fun Times at India's Festival of Color - Holi!

Why Should We Be Using

Natural Fabric Dyes Anyway?

If you want to have a sustainable and eco-friendly brand, then you need to be careful when thinking about which dyes and inks to opt for. People often don’t give much thought to what they colour their garments with, but it’s essential that you stay ahead of the game!

There are a number of synthetic dyes out there that need to be avoided if you and your business are to do your bit for the environment, as well as ensure you don’t put anyone in danger.

The fast-fashion industry (which is already responsible for so much environmental damage due to waste), also does it’s fair share to harm the environment by using synthetic colorants. These are easy on the pocket but the cost is high in regards to our environment and health.

The process used to synthesise synthetic dyes results in the evaporation of hazardous toxins, which considerably contribute to greenhouse emissions and endanger everyone. In fact, reports indicate that as much as 3 millions tonnes (!) of these chemicals are consumed from synthetic dyes (and similar alternatives) alone.

Some of the effects these dangerous chemicals can have to human life include rashes, some forms of cancer and even explosions. I don’t know about you, but I sure don’t want that stuff rubbing against my skin...

More than this, when these toxic dyes are inevitably dumped into our oceans, many of our beautiful (and helpless) sea creatures are poisoned and killed in the process.

So, what can we use instead which won’t impact our health or the health of our environment in such a negative way? The answer lies in using natural fabric dyes as an alternative. Let’s take a look at some other ways you can colour your stunning pieces at no cost to human life or our planet...

Indigo is one of many natural fabric dyes
Indigo is known as the "King of Natural Dyes".

Examples Of Natural

Fabric Dyes

When it comes to sourcing natural fabric dyes, India is the place to be! The country isn’t known as the “land of colour” for nothing. You may be surprised to learn just how many natural dye alternatives can be sourced from organic materials growing right in front of us!


Turmeric is one of our favourite alternatives for a natural yellow fabric dye. The dye is extracted straight from the turmeric rhizomes to create a stunningly vivid yellow.

Another option is to use saffron, which belongs to the Iridaceae family and derives from the Crocus Sativus plant. It has been used throughout generations and is most commonly produced in Jammu and Kashmir.

Natural fabric dyes are the best option!
Tumeric makes a magical yellow natural dye!


The incredible indigo pigment, often referred to as the “King of Natural Dyes”, can also be created completely organically, through a fermentation process using Indigofera leaves. You’ll find the largest quantities of indigo being produced in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu.


Gujarat is home to madder, or the “Queen of Natural Dyes”. Extracted from the roots of the Rubia, this natural dye is simply stunning.

Other shades of reds and pinks are also produced using black and red berries! These can be located on the madder plant, and make for the perfect pigments!

How Can I Source Natural

Fabric Dyes to Use In My Brand?

Though there are many natural dye alternatives to choose between, they aren’t always readily available and it can be a challenge to know who is being completely honest with you.

If you’re interested in using natural fabric dyes in your garments, Masala Threads can take care of everything for you. We source exquisite natural dyes straight from India, and will use these to manufacture your line! Our other fabric dying options are all toxic free and safety approved. We offer sourcing, printing & dying, design, production, photoshoots and eco-packaging.

We will ensure that you have a sustainable and ethical supply chain through and through!

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