About Green Valley Color ®
Our Green Valley Color® botanical dyes are 100% California olive, 100% California grape and other botanical pigments, produced from materials normally discarded as part of the olive oil, wine and other natural product production processes. Green Valley Color® pigments were grown under the California sun and are a great way to enjoy the California sunshine anywhere on the planet (or off it) at any time of day. Manufacturers wishing to use Green Valley Color® pay a small fee for access to and certification of Green Valley Color® dyestuffs and story. All licensing fees are contributed to causes in support of California agriculture, environmental conservation and preservation.
About Green Valley Color® botanical dyes
We use a unique process developed by Japan’s Cihon Tec, one of Japan’s leading botanical research and development companies. Cihon Tec’s Tokyo office serves as a reference library and “botanical apothecary” at the increasingly busy intersection of the food and fashion industries. Using Cihon Tec’s methodology and unique insight into the botanical properties of the materials we work with, we are able to go beyond the typical monotone vegetable “tea” style dye process and invest the products we dye with the plant’s story and the efficacy of its fibers.
In order to meet modern consumers’ demand for color fastness, we do use some chemicals in our process. We continue to make progress on the degree to which we depend on non-botanical agents in the dyeing process, but a 100% botanical agent solution that fully meets retailers’ and consumers’ expectations for color quality does not yet exist.
Inconveniences caused by botanical-only processes include degraded color fastness, especially after exposure to regular ultraviolet light (sunshine), and discoloration due to perspiration. Accordingly, Green Valley Color® is the dye equivalent of a hybrid car. We preserve the best features and benefits of botanical coloring, while following it with the practical application of chemical agents where required to meet consumer needs. That said, it is important to note that, while the use of some chemicals do create a dye process more robust than standard botanical dyes, Green Valley Color® is a botanical pigment-based process and is not the same as 100% chemical dye with regard to saturation and many other elements.
Product Development Notes
On Japan’s very strict 4-grade colorfastness rating scale, with 4 being the best possible grade, Green Valley Color® clears grade 3. (By way of reference, most fast fashion product colorfastness and crocking test results fall between a 2 and 3). Specifically, Green Valley Color® remains slightly weaker than chemical dyes under prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, and darker or more saturated applications tend to be weaker than the best chemical dye applications in wet crocking tests.
Regarding “Color Bend”
It is difficult for our botanical dyes to perfectly color match chemical dyes. Please note that slight variations in the botanical pigment base can lead to greater color differences between specific dye lots than that seen with chemical dyes, a feature that we call “Color Bend”. One reason for this is due to a characteristic particular to botanical dyes: Even for a single red color, the sub-micron pigment particles are not all singularly red, but rather are a variety of colors that, in combination, appear to the eye as red. Because this is a diffuse reflection, the “red” color expressed or returned to the human eye is a soft light with a unique depth. Also, because the base pigmentation is a natural material, even seasons and the dyeing environment influence the final results of the dyeing process. The outcome is not unlike differences in fine wines – even the most ideal conditions will yet yield slightly different wines from year to year, even at the same winery. In this respect, botanical dyes respect and follow the laws and sensibility of nature, and the best way to work with the botanical dyeing process is with the same frame of mind that one would approach nature.
Regarding Lead Times
Due to additional steps in the botanical dyeing process, it is important to be aware that more lead time is required. We recommend planning for between 7 to 10 business days for a beaker dye sample, 3 to 4 weeks for a pre-production textile sample and between 4 and 6 weeks for regular production. As all dyeing is done in Japan, an additional one to two days may be required for international transit.