Skip to content

Back to the Roots: Ancient Dyes and Textiles

Research Open House 2020

Eleonora Del Federico
Tess Adams, BFA Digital Arts ’20
School of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Mathematics and Science

Since antiquity, humans have obtained colors from natural sources like plant leaves, flowers, and berries, primarily to dye textiles. This research shows our comparison studies of natural dyed textiles and modern synthetic textiles, which include color stability and durability, as well as how the color hue can be manipulated using natural additives. The stability studies of the dyed textiles were performed using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) techniques, which allow us to predict how the textiles degrade at a molecular level, helping to determine which dyes would be the most durable through the understanding of the chemistry involved in their aging.