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Promoting sustainability by examining the possibility of using bio-mordants in natural coloration with teak dye extract


The objective of this study was to promote sustainability by offering natural dye extracted from teak sawdust and by replacing conventional mordants or metallic salts with bio-mordants: aloe vera and banana sap. This experimentation further dug deep into analysis of dyeing criteria with respect to controlled variables (the dyeing recipes, time) and independent variable (temperature).

To be exact, the fabric samples were simultaneously mordanted and dyed in 1:10 M:L dye bath. The application of bio-mordant was carried out by three manners; first one was only for aloe vera, second one for banana sap and third for the mixture of both. The three dye bath was used once at 70°C and again at 100°C for 60 min.

Then the color fastness properties and CMC test were done to determine the changes in the properties of the samples developed under different parameters. The tested results had shown promising effects on the fastness properties of dyed samples and thus promoting a sustainable scope of dyeing.

Keywords: Teak dye; Bio-mordants; Color fastness properties; CMC; Sustainability.

  1. Introduction

Sustainability is trending in the field of research nowadays. Like wastes from dyeing industries are one of the greatest threats to rivers in countries like Bangladesh (Chowdhury, et al. 2020). Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) costs a fortune to a dyeing factory.

It has been reported that about 90million taka is spent on the chemical ETP process (Miah, 2012). Though it is a seemingly impractical approach to eradicate all the existing technologies, dyeing industries need to take baby steps to adopt sustainable technologies to survive in this ever-changing era of technologies.

What this project offers is an idea soon to be turned into innovation as time and tide always favors adaptation. In 2016, textile industries in Bangladesh generated around 217 million cubic meter of wastewater which is expected to be 349 cubic meter, assuming bringing up a disastrous effect of the rivers (Hossain, et al. 2018).

Natural dyes have been thought to replace the synthetic dyestuffs in smaller to greater levels. Several sources such as onion skins, turmeric, heena, amla, marigold, carrots, spinach seeds, red and green cabbages etc. have been tested and positive results are found by researchers as potential natural dyes (Bhute, et al. 2012).

Teak sawdust can be one of the potential natural dye sources contributing in the movement of natural coloration. Tectona grandis aka Teak is local to Southeast and South Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Thailand. Also the tree is cultivated throughout Africa (Sivamani, et al. 2020). It possesses an astonishing golden color (Derkyi, et al. 2009).

Also it has been proven that teak sawdust has antimicrobial properties (Arief, et al. 2014). Researchers and industrialists are trying to make wearable antiviral, antibacterial, antimicrobial in movement of finding any ways possible to reach the milestone by defeating harmful micro-organisms and thus entering the era of enriched technical textiles (Karim, et al. 2020).

Teak has seldom been subjected to experiments regarding its dyeing properties. If its dye shows ample properties, teak dye will have a great deal of applications from dyeing regular wearable to technical textiles like protective textiles (e.g. PPEs).

This experiment also rediscovers bio-mordants; aloe vera and banana sap to be exact. Most of the researchers emphasized on the effect of synthetic mordant (Copper sulphate, aluminum sulphate, potassium dichromate and lead acetate etc.) (Nilani, et al. 2008).

Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis Miller), is a well acclaimed natural mordanting agent (Zubairu, et al. 2015). Aloe vera is known to have increased fastness properties of natural dyes just fine like other metallic mordanting agents (Ratnapandian, et al. 2017). The special short-stemmed plant’s inner leaf gel is said to have antimicrobial properties. This has been proven by performing screening methods (Habeeb, et al. 2007).

Aloe vera has been described as an antibacterial agent (Habeeb, et al. 2007). According to a recent research aloe vera also possesses burn wound healing effect, immuno-modulatory effect, anti-diabetic effect, anti-oxidant effect, anticancer effect, hepato-protective effect, antiviral and antiulcer effect (Laxmipriya, et al. 2015).

Another noteworthy natural mordanting agent is banana sap (Dhar, et al. 2017). The  pseudostem of banana (Musa paradisiaca) has been used in some countries to make qualitative bio-products such as fiber to make yarn, fabric, apparel and fertilizer, handicrafts, bio-chemicals, paper, fish feed, candy and pickles etc. (Mohiuddin, et al. 2014).

In traditional uses, banana extract is used as a mordanting agent or brown-gold color dye for clothes and fibers (Somana, et al. 2010). The Banana pseudo-stem sap has some special properties relating to various phenomena such as browning of fruits after harvesting, permanent staining of cloth and fibers, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-hemorrhagic properties (Kumara, et al. 2014).

This study was designed to use traditional aqueous extraction method for extracting dyes from teak saw dust. Then extracted dyes applied along with extracted bio-mordants at different parameters. Finally, various fastness properties have been evaluated to find out the performance of individual mordants in natural coloration.

  1. Methodology

2.1 Materials

Following items were required to perform the experiment.

  1. Teak sawdust
  2. Aloe vera
  3. Banana stem
  4. RFD fabric (twill fabric)

2.2 Machinery

Following machinery were needed to test the samples.

  1. Washing machine
  2. Crock meter
  3. Spectrophotometer (Datacolor 800)

2.3.1 Extraction of teak dye

About 1.1kg of teak sawdust was mixed in 2000ml water. The solution took up a darker shade. Then the solution was heated and steered simultaneously on the stove for 3 hours to extract color from the sawdust.

The aqueous solution later caught a dark prune shade. It was then cooled down at room temperature and filtered to store in a bottle.

Figure 1. Extraction of teak dye.

2.3.2 Extraction of aloe vera

Two aloe vera leaves were freshly cut and then its external skin was peeled off. After that, the leaves were cut into small pieces. The juice was extracted by blending the small pieces using a blender. The juice was light olive in color. Then it was stored below room temperature.

Figure 2. Extraction of aloe vera.

2.3.3 Extraction of banana sap

The stem of the banana tree was collected. The stem was then cut in small pieces and then blended using a blender. This gives a maroon colored banana sap. Finally, it was stored below room temperature.

Figure 3. Extraction of Banana sap.

2.3.4 Preparation of dye bath with mordants

Simultaneous mordanting method was adopted where the fabric would be both treated with mordants and dyes at the same time.

Table 1: Recipe of dye bath preparation with mordants
Dye Bath RFD fabric


Aqueous solution of teak dye




Dyeing condition


For first dye bath 10 180 20 (Aloe vera juice) 60 min @ 70°C

60 min @ 100°C

For second dye bath 10 180 20 (Banana sap) 60 min @ 70°C

60 min @ 100°C

For third dye bath 10 180 10 (Aloe vera juice) + 10 (Banana sap) 60 min @ 70°C

60 min @ 100°C

Three different types of dye bath were prepared to get a variety of results.

Figure 4. Process curve of dyeing at 70°C.
Figure 5. Process curve of dyeing at 100°C.

All the samples were washed in hot water (with or without 0.5g/L detergent) after 5 minutes of cooling right after dyeing.

Figure 6. Simultaneous mordanting and dyeing.
Table 2: Identification of samples
Sample Mordanted with Dyeing Condition After wash
A1 Aloe vera

Aloe vera


70°C for 60 min

A2 Yes
B1 Banana sap

Banana sap

B2 Yes
C1 Aloe vera+Banana sap

Aloe vera+Banana sap

C2 Yes
D1 Aloe vera

Aloe vera


100°C for 60 min

D2 Yes
E1 Banana sap

Banana sap

E2 Yes
F1 Aloe vera+Banana sap

Aloe vera+Banana sap

F2 Yes
  1. Result and Discussion

3.1 Evaluation of colorfastness properties to wash

From table 2, it can be seen that change in color due to wash is moderate for almost all the samples except for B1, D1 and E1 who’s properties are slightly fair. In case of the color staining properties of the samples, the data mirrors each other except for D1.

Table 3. Wash fastness properties of dyed sample
Sample Change in color Color staining
Acetate Cotton Polyamide Polyester Polyacrylic Wool
A1 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
A2 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
B1 2/3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
B2 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
C1 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
C2 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
D1 2/3 4/5 4/5 4 4 4/5 4
D2 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
E1 2/3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
E2 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
F1 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4
F2 3 4/5 4/5 4 4/5 4/5 4

Its staining to polyester is very good while rest of them is excellent. This shows that dyeing with aqueous solution of teak and mordanting with aloe vera and banana sap separately and together didn’t vary at the attribute of color staining.

3.2. Evaluation of colorfastness properties to rubbing

Sample Dry rubbing Wet rubbing
A1 5 3/4
A2 5 3/4
B1 4/5 3/4
B2 5 3/4
C1 5 3/4
C2 5 4
D1 4 3/4
D2 4/5 3/4
E1 4 3/4
E2 4/5 3/4
F1 5 3/4
F2 5 3/4

The table 3, features how the samples reacted to crock meter. Sample D1 and E1 has shown very good fastness properties towards dry rubbing, B1, D2 and E2 has shown excellent properties. Rest of them has outstanding colorfastness to dry rubbing.

The color fastness to wet rubbing was not as great as those of dry rubbing. Good properties were found among all the samples except for C2. This proves that the color really sunk into the sample when it was mordanted with both aloe vera and banana sap and didn’t have more color to lose like rest of the samples.

3.3 Evaluation of color strength

Table 5. Color strength comparison of samples from washed without detergent to washed with detergent

Sample comparison Color strength
A1 to A2 83.06%
B1 to B2 84.21%
C1 to C2 75.22%
D1 to D2 75.31%
E1 to E2 69.22%
F1 to F2 65.73%

The samples’ color strength from washed without detergent to wash with detergent were tested and the table provides the data. It shows most strength was recorded for B1 to B2 where B2 lost only 15.79% color. This is followed by A1 to A2, losing 16.94%; D1 to D2, losing 24.78%; C1 to C2, losing 24.69% and E1 to E2, losing 30.78% color respectively. The least strength was recorded for F1 to F2 and it lost 34.27% color.

This shows that overall samples dyed in 100°C took up a deeper shade, but lost it immediately when washed in boiling water with detergent.

On the contrary, the samples dyed in 70°C didn’t lose much color in comparison to washed in hot water to wash in hot water with detergent. Among the samples, the ones mordanted with only banana sap shows more promising properties than other one.

3.4 Measurement of color difference


The table gives the color coordinates of all the samples tested by a spectrophotometer. The table 5, reveal that both 70°C and 100°C treated banana sap mordanted sample shows greater color difference than others.

So, after wash with detergent banana sap treated samples lose its color.  The samples mordanted with only aloe vera has shown the best results and is followed by mordanted with mixture of banana sap and aloe vera.

Figure 7. Chroma of A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, C2, D1, D2, E1, E2, F1 and F2.


Once everlasting Buriganga River is now dead and more rivers like Turag, Shitalakshya, Karnaphuli etc. are soon to follow. One of the major catalyst leading to innavigability of rivers are dumped chemicals and untreated wastewaters of dyeing industries, accelerating climate change.

In this experiment, the research outcome is quite hopeful. The first outcome of the research is that teak sawdust displays a characteristic tan-gold luster that is readily soluble in water.

If anyone has any feedback or input regarding the published news, please contact: info@textiletoday.com.bd

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