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Natural dyes are made from plants. They don't have the harsh chemicals that acid dyes have, although some can fade over time if left in the sun.

I have often heard that natural dyes are toxic, so they don't want to use them. 

There is an alum or tannin mordant used to prepare protein fibers, and multiple soy baths if using plant based fibers. 

If the dyer chooses to do an afterbath to alter the color such as tin, then yes, I wouldn't want to use that either! No dyer  that I know uses these toxins as they do not want to be exposed to them, and they defeat the purpose of using plants. You can get lots of shades by doing an after bath in rusty water ( I use an old chain and vinegar in a jar to make it myself), a copper bath or pipe (to wrap around if you are eco printing) and occasionally a couple of others.


There are lots of beautiful books out now to educate yourself about your choices. Then compare the ingredients to those of  acid dyes. Some of the crazy colors you just can't find in nature, but I hope that you will be open to both in the future.

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