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KAU identifies plants to make natural dyes

The Kerala Agricultural University (KAU) has identified plants for manufacturing natural textile dyes, paving the way for a return to natural dyeing and elimination of risks from chemical dyes. The study undertaken at the College of Agriculture (CoA), Vellayani, has identified 12 indigenous plants capable of giving colour to cotton and silk textiles.

The study was undertaken as part of a Western Ghats Development Project (WGDP) funded initiative, according to a release from the KAU.

The technology for using the plants for commercial textile industry has also been standardized under another research project sponsored by the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY).

`The study has opened up the possibility of using indigenous plants as potential dye yielders. We are looking forward for a technology for industrial production of natural dyes for textile industry ,'' KAU vicechancellor P Rajendran said.

"Plant dyes were used for garment dyeing and wall paintings till the advent of synthetic dyes in the 16th century . The hazardous effects of chemical dyeing has provoked a rethinking now and the KAU effort is along these lines," pointed out Rajendran.

According to the release, the technology will be of great value in development of ecofriendly and safe clothings, especially for new-born babies and people allergic to synthetic dyes. The biochemical properties of these natural dye compounds have also been deciphered, which will help to identify the biomolecules in them.


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