CELLULOSE, vol.21, no.6, pp.4671-4680, 2014 (SCI-Expanded)
Application of natural dyes for textiles is increasing due to awareness of environment, ecology, and pollution control. The purpose of this study is to determine the color, antimicrobial, and fastness properties of cotton fabrics dyed with thyme and pomegranate peel without a mordanting process. In this way, it was planned to avoid use of metallic mordants (heavy-metal salts) and prevent heavy-metal pollution for ecological production. Additionally, a variety of the most commonly used mordants, namely potassium aluminum sulfate, copper(II) sulfate, iron(II) sulfate, and tin(II) chloride, were used for mordanting of cotton fabrics in order to compare the differently mordanted and unmordanted dyed fabrics’ color efficiencies (K/S) and CIE L * a * b * color values. It was found that mordant type had an effect on color efficiency and the color coordinates of fabrics dyed with both thyme and pomegranate fruit peel. Moreover, the antimicrobial properties of the fabrics only dyed directly with thyme and pomegranate peel without any mordanting process were determined to demonstrate the usability of these natural dye sources without use of any mordanting agents. The obtained antimicrobial activities were compared with undyed samples. Undyed samples showed no antimicrobial activity, whereas significant antimicrobial activity was obtained after the dyeing procedure using thyme and pomegranate peel on unmordanted fabrics. Washing, rubbing, perspiration, and lightfastness properties of dyed fabrics were also evaluated. Thyme and pomegranate fruit peel as natural dye sources revealed sufficient results even for unmordanted samples.