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Potential of Henna Leaves as Dye and Its Fastness Properties on Fabric

Authors: Nkem Angela Udeani


Despite the wide spread use of synthetic dyes, natural dyes are still exploited and used to enhance its inherent aesthetic qualities as a major material for beautification of the body. Centuries before the discovery of synthetic dyes, natural dyes were the only source of dye open to mankind. Dyes are extracted from plant - leaves, roots and barks, insect secretions, and minerals. However, research findings have made it clear that of all, plants- leaves, roots, barks or flowers are the most explored and exploited in which henna (Lawsonia innermis L.) is one of those plants. Experiment has also shown that henna is used in body painting in conjunction with an alkaline (Ammonium Sulphate) as a fixing agent. This of course gives a clue that if colour derived from henna is properly investigated, it may not only be used for body decoration but possibly, may have affinity to fiber substrate. This paper investigates the dyeing potentials – dye ability and fastness qualities of henna dye extracts on cotton and linen fibers using mordants like ammonium sulphate and other alkalis (hydrosulphate and caustic soda, potash, common salt, potassium alum). Hot and cold water and ethanol solvent were used in the extraction of the dye to investigate the most effective method, dye ability, and fastness qualities of these extracts under room temperature. The results of the experiment show that cotton have a high rate of dye intake than other fiber. On a similar note, the colours obtained depend most on the solvent used. In conclusion, hot water extraction appears more effective. While the colours obtained from ethanol and both cold hot methods of extraction range from light to dark yellow, light green to army green and to some extent shades of brown hues.

Keywords: Fabrics, potential, dye, henna leaves

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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