Unless you’ve made them from scratch, the clothes you are wearing contain dyes. If you’re not lucky enough to have a cotton gin in your backyard where you can create your own garments, it’s safe to assume that the outfit you’re wearing at this very moment was coloured through the use of fabric dye.
Don’t be alarmed, fabric dyes will not cause harm to your beautiful epidermis. To answer the question posed in the title of this article, yes, fabric dyes are safe for your skin!
In the last 20 or so years, the synthetic dye industry has undertaken rigorous health and safety measures to ensure that their products do not harm your skin. These companies have environmental standards to contend with too so it’s in their best interest not to hurt you in order to avoid lawsuits.
Dyes work by chemically attaching themselves to the fabric they’re meant to colour. While there are dyes that are meant to only change the colour of a fabric momentarily and fade in the wash, most synthetic dyes will keep your clothing looking sharp after many trips to the washing machine.
Synthetic fabric dyes are the most commonly used dyes. They come in a wide range of colours and can be produced in bulk, making them the cheapest type of dye to use on clothing.
A teenager, who created it out of coal tar, discovered the first synthetic dye in 1856. Fabric dyes have come a long way since then. If we were still using coal to colour our clothing, we’d likely all have rashes.
However, if you are prone to skin irritations and have a slew of allergies to contend with on a daily basis, you may experience a reaction to fabric dyes.
An allergen-free alternative to synthetic fabric dye is natural dye. This dye is made from plant and animal sources such as berries, roots, bark and wood. Although, a shirt made of wood sounds like it would be harsh on the skin, the wood is naturally processed.
Basically, you will not get a splinter from naturally dyed clothes. Clothing made of natural dye tends to be more expensive due to the fact that it is not suited for large-scale production.
If you are in the market for naturally dyed fabric make sure to read the label and ensure that it is organic and produced in an environmentally friendly lab.
If you’re looking to print fabric with your own patterns or designs, you can rest assured knowing that you’re not likely to give anyone an allergic reaction with your products!