Avoiding toxic yarn dyes

Avoiding toxic yarn dyes

Note:  This is just for thought, we take no side whatsoever. I have been an acid dyer for a while and unfortunately before there was the extreme caution of masks, gloves, ventilation. NOT doing it in your home kitchen. Since then I have been battling severe nervous system and autoimmune issues that just happened. So Think twice, Think a million times before you venture forth and do your research and purchase all the equipment and dye in a safe space, not your kitchen. Just my hard-learned lessons. 

We’ve all known someone who has dyed their clothes in the wash (okay, it's us. We’ve all done it), but what exactly is in that dye? 

Many who enjoy the knitting or crochet craft (or even a bit of yarn bombing) are fully aware that by choosing wool over synthetics, they are actively helping the health of not only themselves but the world around them.

You might be surprised, however, to find that there can be toxins in these too if they are colored. Trying to watch out for the environment, might not be as easy as you were led to believe. Our store only stocks naturally sourced dyes so there’s no need to worry. If you’re someone who wants to know more though, read on.

The biggest concern with dying fabric is the pollution that the chemicals used to put into the environment, either by their products or when disposed of after the dying process. Many of these are toxic or carcinogenic. In other words, there is significant research that states that they induce cancer. 

Not only are these chemicals in the dyes but they are needed to set the dyes. These are known as mordant and have become increasingly popular since the 80s. Unfortunately, so has synthetic material but that is another argument. 

It is possible to create dyes from natural dyes, and some are bright enough not to need mordant to heighten the color. Turmeric, for example, produced a beautiful, sun-kissed yellow. With the increase of the textile industry, this seems to be an inefficient way for high prophet companies to make their product. They are quite happy to damage the earth. Dirt first a dollar, as it were.

The majority of synthetic dyes are petroleum-based which has huge, negative impacts on manufacturer, customer, and planet. Often it is blue, turquoise and copper that are subject to the most petroleum because there are few sources in nature that can compare in terms of clarity. 

If you have questions or concerns about the production of a dyed yarn product that you would like to buy, contact GOTS (The Global Organic Textile Standard).

Written By Bandi Crawford for Tinkknit.

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