Fabric Dye

The mere existence of bright, head-turning royal purple and sapphire blue shades makes it so easy to question the origins of fabric dye. The most commonly used fabric dyes were discovered near their source, which meant that color variants were dependent upon factors such as geography, class, and custom. For example, the word “crimson” is a derivative of kermes, the source of the fabric dye—an insect found on oak trees in the Mediterranean. Other ancient fabric dye colors like blue were made from indigo, a plant found in India and southeast Asia. Indigo creates one of the richest fabric dyes and is unique because it doesn’t require an additive for the color to stay. Today, the apparel industry employs over 10,000 different fabric dyes yearly.

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