Printing of Cotton and Silk Fabric With Marigold Flower Dye and Gum Arabic

Shwetambri and Verma, Chhaya

“Go Green”. Printing with natural dye is still in its primary stage due the problem of dye extraction, requirement of mordants, light shades, fastness properties and uneven prints. Whereas printing with Natural Thickening agent is still need to focus on due to the reason of environmental pollution from the effluent and waste from the synthetic thickening and binding agents. Keeping in view the importance of eco-textiles and their increasing demand in national and international market this study was made to get even prints with bright shades using screen and block printing by both the Premordanting and simultaneous mordanting techniques along with Gum Arabic as natural thickening agent. Aluminium potassium sulphate and ferrous sulphate mordants were used during the preparation of printing paste for the colour variation. Visual evaluation of the printed samples on the basis of prints and evaluation of colourfastness properties were also carried out. Very good to good block and screen prints were obtained with gum arabic as thickening agent. Colour fastness results related to sunlight, washing, crocking, pressing and perspiration showed good results.

Keywords: Natural Dyes | Natural Thickening agents | Gum Arabic | Marigold flower


Nature is full of fascinating colours without which life would have been dull and monotonous. In every civilization from remote ages to the present day, the art of dyeing and printing has played an important part in adding beauty to the world and makes an important contribution to fabric decoration. Dyeing and printing are the name given to the processes by which a comparatively permanent colour is imparted to certain bodies of which the most important are the textile fiber.

Primitive people have been endeavouring to add colour to the world around them. Primitive dyeing technique includes stamping plants to fabric or rubbing crushed plants pigments on to the cloth. The first dyes used by the primitive people were most probably water soluble natural dyes which were obtained from plant (vegetable), insect and mineral sources. A greater grasp over the use of colours came with the development of dyes from minerals and the discovery of mordants. Every colour had its own significance, and the design whether mythological or natural, human or floral, has its hidden meaning.

The tradition of using natural dyes could only survive only in certain isolated pockets. As the use of natural dyes declined tremendously because of existing natural dyes failed to fulfill the demand of the market. Presently, there is an excessive use of synthetic dyes, estimated at around one crore tonnes per annum, the production and application of which release vast amounts of waste and unfixed colourants, causing serious health hazards and disturbing eco-balance of nature.

Textile printing is a term which is used to indicate the patterning of cloth by means of printing, dyeing or painting. Printing of fabric requires a thickening agent, which is used to make the varying thickness of the printing material. The viscosity of the printing paste can be increased or decreased by varying the amount of thickener. Printing also requires highly specialized equipments, materials, knowledge and a lot of aesthetic ability in order to achieve the desired effect.

A printed fabric can be produced by a wide variety of methods like stencil printing, block printing, screen printing, roller printing, resist printing, etc. textile printing has evolved itself over the course of last century in a very systematic and scientific way. This evolution has aimed at developing new dyestuffs and simplifying methods of applications yielding prints having a fastness of high standard. Some of these require expensive equipments and other require a very simple outlay. All these methods represent the means of transferring the creative talent of the designer to the fabric.

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