Herbal Textiles-Give Yourself a Healthy Style

Published: 05th October 2009
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The Concept of Herbal Textile

Herbal Textile is dyed entirely with herbal extractions, without using any sort of chemicals. The herbs used are different from vegetable dyes as they are not only natural but also have medicinal value. These herbs are applied directly to the fabric with the help of natural ingredients, so that the medicinal value of the herbs can be kept intact. No chemical process is adopted while dyeing. Even bleaching of cloth is done naturally by exposing it to sunlight. The herbs also do not pollute the environment through contamination of water resources in areas close to processing units. All kinds of shades of red, yellow, brown, orange and green etc. can be prepared with the help of these herbs.

The Healing Effects of Herbal Textile

As we now know that herbal textile is dyed with herbs having medicinal property, it is natural that the end products made with it will definitely have some or the other health benefits. Herbal Textile can, in fact, fight diseases like hypertension, heart ailments, asthma and diabetes depending upon the herb used to make the dyes. Some of the examples will help to understand the healing effects of herbal textile.

• Indigo: This herbal dye helps in fighting skin diseases.

• Cuscus Grass: It helps in fighting asthma.

• Turmeric: It can cure pain and is also beneficial for enhancing skin qualities.

• Sandalwood: Its mild fragrance has a soothing effect that helps in fighting stress.

Some of the other herbal dyes are catechu, pomegranate rind, madder, castor oil, sweet basil, lime, wild turmeric, henna, curry leaf tree, aloe, certain herbal fruits etc. each having their own healing effects.

Herbal textiles are mostly used in making bedsheets, undergarments, and other such garments that stay close to human skin so that all the benefits could be absorbed through the skin.

Other Benefits of Herbal Textile

Herbal textiles are not only eco-friendly but they leave certain residues that can be further used for making other environmental friendly products.

• The solid as well as liquid wastes from herbal dyeing process can be recycled to be further used as manure in fields.

• Some of the environmentally conscious industries engaged in producing herbal textiles, make organically recycled textile paper bags by stitching the leftover organic and herbal dyed fabrics which can counter the growing menace of plastic bag pollution.

• It also promotes cultivation of herbs required for the dyeing process of herbal textiles.

Herbal Dyes- Production and Consumption

Herbal textiles can be priced more competitively than the conventional fabrics due to its low production cost. If a comparison is made, a plain chemical dye costs around $75per kg while a herbal dye costs approx. $5per kg.

Most of the herbs used in dyeing herbal textile are cultivated in South East Asian countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, India being the leading producer. The Handloom Weavers Development Society (HLWDS) of Kerala, India has exported herbal and organic textile worth Rs.50 Lakh to US, Europe and Japan. The herbal textile is becoming so popular that the Japanese Government has given HLWDS a grant of $40,218.

Wholesale Supply of herbal textiles is made into international markets of USA, Canada, France, Denmark, Italy, Poland, Maldives, Mauritius, Japan and Sri Lanka.

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