KERALA

Patent claim for herbal colours

KOCHI, FEB. 26. Is there any connection between Ayurveda and handlooms? The answer, for the layman, is in the negative. But to K. Ravi, an expert in sustainable development, Ayurveda will join hands with handlooms in a big way. There is enough reason for him to believe so. For, a patent application has been filed to establish the medicinal benefits received by a person wearing handlooms making use of Ayurvedically prepared colouring matter.

The dyes used in the handloom industry at present are mostly synthetic in nature. The chemical components of the dyes used for giving a variety of colours to the yarn are generally unknown to the consumer. In comparison, the colours extracted from herbal plants will have a definite advantage, according to him. The leaves of several Ayurvedic plants are known for their medicinal value. The new effort is to prove that the people who wear clothes on which Ayurvedic dyes are used, have a positive bearing on their health.

In contrast, no such claims have been raised on behalf of chemical dyes presently in use. On the other hand, environmental concerns have been raised at times against the use of chemical dyes in handloom units.

The new experiment has already been tried and textiles coloured by using dyes derived from herbal plants are available in the market. The high export potential of the product is being harnessed by a weaving society which is in the process of getting a patent.

The general awareness and a renewed interest on natural products as exhibited by nature lovers across the world would result in good prospects for the little known weavers' group, according to sources.