Sustainable application of novel herbs on cotton fabrics as biomordants and colourants

Alka Thakker, Danmei Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


The textile industry is ambitiously parading towards circularity and curtailing its dependency on fossil fuels hence the instigated research that adheres to Sustainable Developmental Goals (SDGs) and benefits the environment and human health alike. The current research experimented with innovative sources of plant-based biomaterials namely dandelion leaves, bilberry leaves, nettle leaves, and violet herb for application on cotton fabric as biomordants and colourants. The AAS analysis of mild 6% herbal solution revealed ferrous content of 6.78 mg/l in violet herb and 5.03 mg/l of the copper content in dandelion leaves applicable on cotton fabrics as biomordants thereby preventing the depletion of copper and ferrous elements mineral ores. A fair lightfastness rating and good to very good wash and rub fastness test results were obtained individually. The maximum K/S value of 13.95 was gained on cotton fabrics treated with a mild herbal infusion of bilberry leaves and coloured with violet herbs. The ATR-FTIR peak analysis noted strong = C-H bend of alkenes, strong C = O stretch of α and β unsaturated esters, and strong C-O stretch of carboxylic acids functional groups in raw herbs and its treated cotton fabrics. The dissolved oxygen (DO), oxidation–reduction potential (ORP), and potential of Hydrogen (pH) values were found in the acceptable range for all the spent solutions left after colouration of cotton fabrics with violet herbs hence sustainable. The data set obtained was statistically validated with ANOVA one-way test. Life cycle analysis and clinical investigation on potential therapeutic benefits of herbal fabrics to the wearer are suggested for future research and development.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47598-47616
Number of pages19
JournalEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research
Issue number31
Early online date19 Feb 2022
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022


  • Herbal fabrics
  • Plant-based colours
  • Plant-based copper
  • Plant-based ferrous
  • UV protective fabrics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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