Natural Dyes - Green

"Acquiring a colourfast, fade-resistant green is a little difficult. There is no green dye that produces a permanent colour because it is chlorophyll-based which will eventually fade. This explains why green was rarely used throughout Southeast Asia before the availability of synthetic dyes. In Indonesia itself, it is rare to find textiles that are coloured dominated by green."

Green from Indigo and Natural Yellow Dyes
One of the easiest ways to make green is to combine indigo with turmeric (turmeric). In Sikka Natar, the green colour is called da'ang tang which is produced from indigo sprinkled with turmeric. This method was also used for centuries by calico dyer on the coast of India's Coromandel, who soaked indigo-coloured threads in turmeric for 48 hours before washing them in water acidified with lime juice. However, the disadvantage of this method is that turmeric is not resistant to sunlight or UV light so it fades quickly. A more stable and colour-resistant green colour can be obtained by dyeing indigo with a more durable yellow dye such as jackfruit wood (Artocarpus heterophyllus) and from mango peel (Mangifera indica).

The Lio tribe of the Ende Lio region, make a male head covering which is red with yellow ticks and has a blue-green double stripe made of thread that has been coloured with indigo which is smeared with a green dye produced from mango leaves, mango bark and turmeric. The resulting colour is called mbopo.

Chlorophyll Dyes
Chlorophyll is the most widely available pigment in nature, chlorophyll is present in all green plants. Chlorophyll is one of the molecules that play a major role in photosynthesis. Chlorophyll is very sensitive to acids, alkalis, oxygen, heat and light. Chlorophyll is also very soluble in organic solvents and has poor fastness, which makes chlorophyll dye less suitable for textile fibres because the resulting colour is not very stable. Even so, the leaves are still used as a producer of green dye. At Sikka, they made green dye from the cotton plant. At Watublapi, they developed green dye from the leaves of the mango tree, this dye is very strong and difficult to destroy, this colour is also difficult to produce. The green dye is also made from papaya and cassava leaves, and it is this result that is preferred over mango by some weavers. In Sumba and Timor, they use papaya leaves (Carica papaya) and noni leaves, which are pounded and boiled together with cotton thread before drying in the sun.

Natural Dye article by Nidiya Kusmaya

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