Products coloured using plant based dyes are generally produced in small batches, requiring many steps, usually taking a few days at a time. Many natural dyers therefore produce against orders or produce a limited number of items.
Labour intensive process
Standardised powder dyes not widely available
Mechanised production facilities not widely adopted
Availability of dyestuff
Quality of dyestuff
Time requirement - Generally a lot of experimentation and research goes into achieving specific shades on certain fabrics and mediums which further extends production time.
Range limitation - Plant colours cannot compete with the range of colours achieved through synthetic dyes. The fact they are beneficial to the wearer and the environment could make up for their lack of shade complexity.
Recommendations for care
Delicate washing with mild detergents
Spot cleaning of stains
Dry cleaning of fabrics dyed with plant colours is NOT recommended.
Light fastness- Fading might occur when the garment is not cared for properly.
Colour / Rub fastness- Bleeding or transfer of colour could occur for a few washes. Dyers will usually share care notes for their garments and products, it would be wise to follow the same for maximum benefit.
No clear identification or mark exists to distinguish plant based colour products.
Much research and innovation is required to improve the standardisation, usability and fastness of plant based colours.
Innovation in Agri-farming methods is required to make the production and sourcing of plant based colours more efficient and affordable.