Authentic Shades by PALEM

The brand | 06/17/2021

Authentic Shades by PALEM

Reveal the nature of colours
Natural dyes collection

In collaboration with Indian craftsmen near Jaipur, PALEM is launching AUTHENTIC SHADES: a limited edition collection with products dyed exclusively thanks to the beautiful nature around us.

The natural dyeing process has a lot to offer. Better for the consumers, better for the planet. Nature can reveal impressing colours and the slight differences following natures variations make the product unique and give it all its beauty.

What is a natural dye?

Natural dyes are colorants derived from plants, invertebrate or minerals. Roots, berries, leaves, wood, vegetables or fruits can be used for the natural dying process to reveal their beautiful natural tones.

The India expertise in natural dyeing

India’s expertise in natural dyes dates back to ancient times. The Veda, India’s most revered scriptures, refers to tinctures used centuries ago. The weaving and printing on fine textile were part of a continuous tradition. The cave painting of Ajanta shows the use of printed and dyed costumes nearly 1400 years ago.

Chemical dyes versus natural dyes

The discovery of chemical dyes in the west in 19th century dealt a massive blow in the Indian textile industry. There was a gradual decline in the use of natural dyes which were more expensive and more difficult to use compare to chemical dyes. Today, there are only few areas left where natural dyes are still used. Bagru near Jaipur in Rajasthan (India) where are located our partner is one of them. 

Some of the chemical dyes were found to be dangerous for our health, creating skin diseases and lungs problems. Therefore, experts started searching for substitutes of chemical items which led to the increase of natural dyes. The natural dyes are more skin friendly and non-allergen. They are eco-friendly, biodegradable and non-carcinogenic.

Also, since they come from natural sources, natural dyes are not harmful to the environment. Natural dyes are biodegradable and disposing them don’t cause pollution. The residuals left don’t have any negative impacts on the environment and can be reused for making compost.  

The natural dyes reveal colours with some depth which chemical dyes lack. They perform equally comparably to synthetic dyes in washing and light fastness.

Recently, the inherent advantages of natural dyes and its awareness have resulted in the revival of demand of the natural dyes.

The natural dyeing process

The different steps of the natural dyeing process require time, knowledge and precision but they follow the traditional steps:

1. The fabric is weighed and according to this weight, all the measurements are taken.

2. The fabric goes for DESIZING: all the dirt and wax are removed using GOTS certified enzymes. GOTS (for Global Organic Textile Standard) was developed by leading standard setters to define world-wide recognised requirements for organic textiles. GOTS (for Global Organic Textile Standard) was developed by leading standard setters to define world-wide recognised requirements for organic textiles.

3. To improve the fabric affinity, it then passes through the process of MORDANTING where tanning acid helps the dyes pigments to adhere to the fibres and improve the fastness.

4. Then the fabric is ready for the DYEING process. It is soaked in water properly so the pores open up and the fabric is dyed in the natural dye bath.

The dye bath is prepared by soaking the raw material overnight and then heating it to required temperature depending on the colour and shade needed. The fabric is dyed for at least 45 minutes to 3 hours or sometimes even more.

5. The fabric goes through the process of POST-MORDANTING to improve the fastness and the brightness of shades.

PALEM’s natural dyeing collection

We’ve decided to launch our AUTHENTIC SHADES collection to go one step further in our sustainable engagement. In this very first limited edition, we are focusing on 4 natural ingredients: the leaves of the Indigotier, the petals of the Marigold flowers, the peel of the pomegranate and the roots of the Alkanna Tinctoria.

The process of oxidation and reduction of the Indigotier leaves will create amazing blue shades for our collection.

The petals of the Marigold flowers will allow us to obtain beautiful tones for our ecru and ochre colours.

With the peel of the pomegranate fruit, we obtain our soft and gentle Sand colour.

Finally, the roots of the Alkanna Tinctoria plant reveal the pink colour of our dress.

Thanks to those deep and real colours, our AUTHENTIC SHADES collection is born. In limited edition, discover our light and breathy LIAN maxi dress and our loose and feminine PAVOT shirt.

Both the dress and the shirt are entirely in organic cotton. The slight variations the natural dying process create enhance the product and makes it beautifully unique.

Thank you to our partner in India for providing all these precious details on natural dying know-how. We are glad to work with craftsman who have clearly taken a step ahead to work with natural dyes. They definitely contribute to the revival of ancient art by preserving the beautiful nature that inspires us and we can only be grateful for that.