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Developing multiple natural dyes from flower parts of Gulmohur


									                                                                                          SCIENTIFIC CORRESPONDENCE
10. Gamble, J. S., Flora of the Presidency of    are grateful to Dr P. Venu, Botanical Survey                                     K. ANITHA*
    Madras, Adalard and Son Ltd, London,         of India, Kolkata, for sharing necessary in-                                    S. N. PRASAD
    1924, vol. 2.                                formation about the species. K.A. thanks K. S.
11. Faegri, K. and van der Pijl, L., The Prin-   Anoop Das and R. Eswaran, SACON for fruit-       Division of Landscape Ecology,
    ciples of Pollination Ecology, Pergamon,     ful discussions. We also thank the anonymous
                                                                                                  Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and
    Oxford, 1979.                                reviewers for their valuable suggestions to
                                                 improve the manuscript.
                                                                                                    Natural History,
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS. We thank Dr                                                                     Anaikatty,
Lalitha Vijayan, Salim Ali Centre for Orni-                                                       Coimbatore 641 108, India
thology and Natural History (SACON), Coim-       Received 12 June 2006; revised accepted 15       *For correspondence.
batore for support during the study. We are      February 2007                                    e-mail:

Developing multiple natural dyes from flower parts of Gulmohur
Recently, interest in the use of natural         and biological study of the different parts      was 8%. The pasty mass (1 g) was used
dyes has been growing rapidly due to the         of Delonix regia ‘Gulmohur’, but no re-          in 20 ml of 0.5% sodium hydroxide solu-
result of stringent environmental stan-          ports exist so far on the extraction of          tion to make a dye solution for different
dards imposed by many countries in re-           natural dyes from D. regia and their ap-         fabrics such as cotton and silk. The dye-
sponse to toxic and allergic reactions           plications. The present investigation            ing bath temperature was maintained at
associated with synthetic dyes 1. Until          deals with the extraction of natural dyes        60°C and time of dyeing was 45 min for
about 150 years ago all dyes were natural        from different flower parts of D. regia          every procedure at pH range 7–8. Light
substances, derived mainly from plants           and their applications on textiles. D.           fastness study of the dyed yarn was car-
and animals. The natural dyes present in         regia grows in all warm and damp parts of        ried out by washing with water, soap,
plants and animals are pigmentary mole-          India, and is considered to be one of the        rubbing, drying at room temperature and
cules 2,3, which impart colour to the mate-      most beautiful trees in the world. The           then direct sunlight and exposing the dry
rials. Pigmentary molecules containing           tree produces striking flame-like scarlet        yarn to Digi-light for its fastness properties.
aromatic ring structure coupled with a           and yellow flowers during spring before          Silk fabrics showed attractive shades
side chain are usually required for reso-        the leaves emerge. Flowers are brilliant         with the dye materials, but cotton fabrics
nance and thus to impart colour. There is        red, the uppermost petal streaked with           offered dull shades which do not give
a correlation of chemical structure with         tallow or yellow-and-white, petals stalked,      light fastness properties. Some of the
colour, and chromogen-chromophore with           their distal part abruptly expanded, or-         findings are reported in Table 1.
auxochrome. Chromogen is the aromatic            bicular, with wavy-crinkled edges, each             In case of Sl.-1 and Sl.-2, the dye con-
structure containing benzene, naphthalene        about 4–6 cm long. Stamens decline to-           centrations are the same at the time of
or anthracene rings. The chromogen-              gether, curving out and down. It has been        dyeing with different dyeing conditions.
chromophore structure is often not suffi-        reported16 that the Gulmohur flower con-         The Sl.-1 offers golden yellow shades in
cient to impart solubility and cause ad-         tains flavonoids such as leucoanthocyanin        presence of turmeric on silk fabrics
herence of the dye to the fibre, but the         and carotenoids such as lutein, zeaxan-          whereas Sl.-2 offers olive green in pres-
presence of auxochrome or bonding affinity       thin, violoxanthin, neoxanthin, auroxanthin,     ence of alum as mordant. The result of dye-
groups enhances adherence properties of          5,6-monoepoxylutein, antheraxanthin and          ing depends upon the concentration of dye
the dye to the fabrics. With the world be-       flavoxanthin, which are responsible for          after extraction as well as the dyeing
coming more conscious towards ecology            dyeing. Work has been carried out to             condition. However, the dye concentra-
and environment, there is greater need           prepare eco-friendly natural dyes from           tion in Sl.-4 and Sl.-6 is the same as the
today to revive the tradition of natural         different parts of Gulmohur flower and           result for both the cases are similar under
dye and dyeing techniques as an alterna-         application of colouring materials on cot-       the same dyeing conditions. Sl.-4 and Sl.-
tive of hazardous synthetic dyes. The            ton and silk yarns. Different parts such as      6 both give olive green shade using alum
traditional method of dyeing is extremely        petal, calyx, petal with reproductive or-        as mordant. Sl.-3 gave dark tan shade
crude. It is well known that the rural folk      gan and whole flowers were extracted             with turmeric powder and Sl.-5 gave
dye the yarn by heating chopped leaves           separately with methanol as solvent at           saddle brown shades without mordant
or flowers of the plant in water. The            room temperature. Different parts of the         with different dyeing conditions. Colour-
process lacks proper shade calculation           flower were extracted in different time          ing material extracted from the petal
and reproducibility of shade for subse-          intervals such as 3 h (part I) and subse-        along with reproductive organ (Sl.-7) of-
quent dyeing processes. It is also labori-       quently 6 h (part II).                           fers dark brown shades without mordant
ous and time-consuming.                             The plant parts (100 g) were taken in         on silk fabrics, whereas Sl.-8 gave brown
   There are several plants/plant parts          pure methanol (500 ml) as solvent for ex-        shades with alum as mordant. Sl.-9 gave
that provide natural dyes 4–9 which are          traction. The organic solvent was then           brown shades on silk fabrics without us-
used in the textile industry. The literature     distilled-off to get a brownish-black col-       ing any mordant. The shades are com-
reveals 10–15 the chemical composition           oured pasty mass. Total yield of the mass        pared with the nearest equivalent shades

CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 92, NO. 12, 25 JUNE 2007                                                                                             1681
                                                                                                  according to pantone textile colour
                                                                                                     The study revealed the production of
                                                                                                  varied natural colours from plant pig-
                                                                                                  ments. The present investigation empha-
                                                                                                  sizes the utilization of waste flowers for
                                                                                                  value-addition. Future investigation will
                                                                                                  be directed towards developing eco-
                                                                                                  friendly dyes for textile and handloom
                                                                                                  industries. This will also have an impact
                                                                                                  on the economic growth of the rural
                                                                                                  weaver communities.

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                            Figure 1.      Different shades on fabrics.                            16. Jungalwala, F. B. and Cama, H. R., J.
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                                                                                                  Received 10 August 2006; revised accepted
                 Table 1.   Different shades achieved on fabrics with the extract
                                                                                                  13 March 2007
Parts of the flower           Solubility        Yarn      Mordanta/developerb       Shades*
                                                                                                                                   A. PUROHIT
Whole flower (part I)       0.5% NaOH            Silk     Turmeric powderb      Golden yellow
Whole flower (part II)      0.5% NaOH            Silk     10% Aluma             Olive green
                                                                                                                                   S. M ALLICK
Petal (part I)              0.5% NaOH            Silk     Turmeric powderb      Dark tan                                            A. NAYAK
Petal (part I)              0.5% NaOH            Silk     10% Aluma             Olive green                                         N. B. DAS
Petal (part I)              0.5% NaOH            Silk     –                     Saddle brown                                        B. NANDA
Petal (part II)             0.5% NaOH            Silk     10% Aluma             Olive green                                         S. SAHOO*
Petal + reproductive        0.5% NaOH            Silk     –                     Dark brown
  organ (part I)                                                                                  Regional Research Laboratory,
Petal + reproductive        0.5% NaOH            Silk     Turmeric powderb      Brown             Bhubaneswar 751 013, India
  organ (part II)                                                                                 *For correspondence.
Calyx                       0.2% NaOH            Silk     –                     Brown

1682                                                                                      CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 92, NO. 12, 25 JUNE 2007

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