Natural Extraction of Dyes from Saffron ‘Crocus sativus L’ Flower Waste, Cotton Dyeing, and Antioxidant Effectiveness

Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Ibn Zohr University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology, Laboratory of Biotechnology and Valorization of Natural Resources, postal code 8106, Agadir, Morocco

2 REMTEX Laboratory, Hight School of Textile and Clothing Industries (ESITH), postal code 20190, Casablanca, Morocco


The production of saffron, the spice obtained from the dried stigmas of Crocus sativus L. (Iridaceae family) flowers, generates, after pruning, considerable quantities of waste containing natural dyes. Saffron flower waste could be a source of extraction of natural dyes with antioxidant activity. In this study, we investigate the possibility of using saffron flower waste for dyeing cotton and evaluating the antioxidant effect of this dye by the DPPH free radical, reducing power and β-carotene bleaching assay. The dye has been evaluated for the composition of the color by the UV-visible spectrum and tested for the dyeing of cotton. The results indicate the presence of polyphenols and flavonoids. The dyeing conditions have been optimized at 6% dye concentration, dye bath pH of 3, dyeing temperature at 98 °C and dyeing time of 60 min. 2% dye concentration with 5 to 10% mordant concentration remains sufficient for dyeing with pre-mordanting. The exhaustion of the bath after dyeing has been improved by a rate of 20% in the case of addition of mordants which have produced a shade of green color. The dye contributes to the significant antioxidant activities with more DPPH scavenging capacity, FRAP reducing power, and β-carotene bleaching inhibition. Cotton fabrics dyed with bio-dyes obtained from saffron flower waste show good color fastness properties and could be a potential source of natural antioxidant agent. It presents an important eco-friendly alternative to synthetic dyes for large-scale application in textile and food industries.


Main Subjects

Aboudrare, A. (2009). Rapport de consultation Diagnostic agronomique de la culture du safran dans la région de Taliouine-Taznakht. 3201(D).
Adeel, S., Kiran, S., SHAHID, M., Habib, S. R., Habib, N. & Hussaan, M. (2022). Ecofriendly application of coconut coir ( Cocos nucifera ) extract for silk dyeing. Environmental Science & Pollution Research, 29(1), 564–572.
Adeel, S., Zuber, M., Ur-Rehman, F. & Zia, K. M. (2018). Microwave-assisted extraction & dyeing of chemical & bio-mordanted cotton fabric using harmal seeds as a source of natural dye. Environmental Science & Pollution Research, 25, 11100.
Ali, N. F. & El-Mohamedy, R. S. R. (2011). Eco-friendly & protective natural dye from red prickly pear (Opuntia Lasiacantha Pfeiffer) plant. Journal of Saudi Chemical Society, 15(3), 257–261.
Azghandi, A., Es-haghi, A., Feizy, J. & Lakshmipathy, R. (2021). Antioxidant capacity & chemical composition of different parts of saffron flowers. Journal of Food & Bioprocess Engineering, 4(1), 69–74.
Baaka, N., Haddar, W., Ticha, M. Ben, & Mhenni, M. F. (2019). Eco-friendly dyeing of modified cotton fabrics with grape pomace colorant : Optimization using full factorial design approach. Journal of Natural Fibers, 16(5), 652–661.
Caser, M., Demasi, S., Stelluti, S., Donno, D. & Scariot, V. (2020). Crocus sativus L . Cultivation in Alpine Environments : Stigmas & Tepals as Source of Bioactive Compounds. Agronomy, 10(10), 1–21.
Deo, H. T. & Desai, B. K. (1999). Dyeing of cotton & jute with tea as a natural dye. Journal of the Society of Dyers & Colourists, 115(7–8), 224–227.
Ding, Y. & Freeman, H. S. (2017). Mordant dye application on cotton: optimisation & combination with natural dyes. Coloration Technology, 133(5), 369–375.
Freeman, H. S. (2017). Mordant dye application on cotton : optimisation & combination with natural Coloration Technology. January 2014.
Hadizadeh, F., Khalilia, N., Hosseinzadeha, H. & Randa, K.-A. (2003). Kaempferol from Saffron Petals. Iranian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research, 2, 251–252.
Hou, X., Chen, X., Cheng, Y., Xu, H., Chen, L. & Yang, Y. (2013). Dyeing & UV-protection properties of water extracts from orange peel. Journal of Cleaner Production, 52, 410–419.
Hou, X., Yang, R., Xu, H. & Yang, Y. (2012). Adsorption kinetic & thermodynamic studies of silk dyed with sodium copper chlorophyllin. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, 51(25), 8341–8347.
Hynes, N. R. J., Kumar, J. S., Kamyab, H., Sujana, J. A. J., Al-Khashman, O. A., Kuslu, Y., Ene, A. & Suresh Kumar, B. (2020). Modern enabling techniques & adsorbents based dye removal with sustainability concerns in textile industrial sector -A comprehensive review. Journal of Cleaner Production, 272, 122636.
Jadouali, S. ., Atifi, H., Bouzoubaa, Z., Majourhat, K., Gharby, S., Achemchem, F., Elmoslih, A., Laknifli, A. & Mamouni, R. (2018). Chemical characterization, antioxidant & antibacterial activity of Moroccan Crocus sativus L petals & leaves. Journal of Materials & Environmental Sciences, 9(1), 113–118.
Kamel, M. M., Abdelghaffar, F. & El-Zawahry, M. M. (2011). Eco-friendly Dyeing of Wool with a Mixture of Natural Dyes. Journal of Natural Fibers, 8(4), 289–307.
Kamel, M. M., Helmy, H. M. & El Hawary, N. S. (2009). Some studies on dyeing properties of cotton fabrics with Crocus sativus (Saffron flowers) using an ultrasonic method. Journal of Natural Fibers, 9(2), 151–170.
Karaboyaci, M. (2014). Recycling of rose wastes for use in natural plant dye & industrial applications. Journal of the Textile Institute, 105(11), 1160–1166.
Kulisic, T., Radonic, A., Katalinic, V. & Milos, M. (2004). Use of different methods for testing antioxidative activity of oregano essential oil. Food Chemistry, 85(4), 633–640.
Lachguer, K., El Merzougui, S., Boudadi, I., Laktib, A., Ben El Caid, M., Ramdan, B., Boubaker, H. & Serghini, M. A. (2022). Major Phytochemical Compounds, In Vitro Antioxidant, Antibacterial, & Antifungal Activities of Six Aqueous & Organic Extracts of Crocus sativus L. Flower Waste. Waste & Biomass Valorization, 1–17.
Lachguer, K., El Ouali, M., Essaket, I., El Merzougui, S., Cherkaoui, O. & Serghini, M. A. (2021). Eco-Friendly Dyeing of Wool with Natural Dye Extracted from Moroccan Crocus sativus L. Flower Waste. Fibers & Polymers, 22(12), 3368–3377.
Lahmass, I., Lamkami, T., Delporte, C., Sikdar, S., Van Antwerpen, P., Saalaoui, E. & Megalizzi, V. (2017). The waste of saffron crop, a cheap source of bioactive compounds. Journal of Functional Foods, 35, 341–351.
Liang, S., Guo, X., Feng, N. & Tian, Q. (2010). Isotherms, kinetics & thermodynamic studies of adsorption of Cu2+ from aqueous solutions by Mg2+/K+ type orange peel adsorbents. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 174(1–3), 756–762.
Min, D. B. & Boff, J. M. (2002). Lipid oxidation of edible oil. Food Science & Technology-New York-Marcel Dekker-, 335–364.
Mortazavi, S. M., Kamali Moghaddam, M., Safi, S. & Salehi, R. (2012). Saffron Petals, a By-Product for Dyeing of Wool Fibers. Prog. Color Colorants Coat., 5, 75–84.
Munteanu, I. G. & Apetrei, C. (2021). Analytical Methods Used in Determining Antioxidant Activity : A Review. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 22(7), 3380. ijms22073380
Nan, W., Kuang, F., Yu-Jie, F., Yuan-Gang, Z., Fang-Rong, C., Yung-Husan, C., Xiao-Lei, L., Yu, K., Wei, L. & Cheng-Bo, G. (2009). Antioxidant activities of extracts & main components of pigeonpea [Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp.] leaves. Molecules, 14(3), 1032–1043.
Ouahhoud, S., Khoulati, A., Kadda, S., Bencheikh, N., Mamri, S., Ziani, A., Baddaoui, S., Eddabbeh, F. E., Lahmass, I., Benabbes, R., Addi, M., Hano, C., Asehraou, A. & Saalaoui, E. (2022). Antioxidant Activity, Metal Chelating Ability & DNA Protective Effect of the Hydroethanolic Extracts of Crocus sativus Stigmas, Tepals & Leaves. Antioxidants, 11(5), 1–21.
Oyaizu, M. (1986). Studies on products of browning reaction. Antioxidative activities of products of browning reaction prepared from glucosamine. The Japanese Journal of Nutrition & Dietetics, 44(6), 307–315.
Rago, Y. P., Surroop, D. & Mohee, R. (2018). Torrefaction of textile waste for production of energy-dense biochar using mass loss as a synthetic indicator. Journal of Environmental Chemical Engineering, 6(1), 811–822.
Raja, A. S. M., Pareek, P. K., Shakyawar, D. B., Wani, S. A., Nehvi, F. A. & Sofi, A. H. (2012). Extraction of Natural Dye from Saffron Flower Waste & its Application on Pashmina fabric. Pelagia Research Library, 3(1), 156–161.
Sadeghi-kiakhani, M., Tehrani-bagha, A. R., Safapour, S., Eshaghloo-galugahi, S. & Etezad, S. M. (2021). Ultrasound-assisted extraction of natural dyes from Hawthorn fruits for dyeing polyamide fabric & study its fastness , antimicrobial , & antioxidant. Environment, Development & Sustainability, 23(6), 9163–9180.
Sánchez-Moreno, C. (2002). Review: Methods Used to Evaluate the Free Radical Scavenging Activity in Foods & Biological Systems. Food Science & Technology International, 8(3), 121–137.
Singleton, V. L. & Rossi, J. A. (1965). Colorimetry of Total Phenolics with Phosphomolybdic-Phosphotungstic Acid Reagents. American Journal of Enology & Viticulture, 16(3), 144–158.
Slama, H. Ben, Bouket, A. C., Pourhassan, Z., Alenezi, F. N., Silini, A., Cherif-Silini, H., Oszako, T., Luptakova, L., Golińska, P. & Belbahri, L. (2021). Diversity of synthetic dyes from textile industries, discharge impacts & treatment methods. Applied Sciences (Switzerl&), 11(14), 1–21.
Stelluti, S., Caser, M., Demasi, S. & Scariot, V. (2021). Sustainable processing of floral bio-residues of saffron (Crocus sativus l.) for valuable biorefinery products. Plants, 10(3), 1–15.
Swamy, V. N. (2017). Assessment of calorimetric, antibacterial & fastness properties of silk fabric dyed with casuarina equisetifolia L. Leaf extract. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 16(4), 714–719.
Taga, M. S., Miller, E. E. & Pratt, D. E. (1984). Chia seeds as a source of natural lipid antioxidants. Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society, 61(5), 928–931.
Tain, Y. & Hsu, C. (2022). Oxidative Stress-Induced Hypertension of Developmental Origins : Preventive Aspects of Antioxidant Therapy. Antioxidants, 11(3), 511. 10.3390/antiox11030511
Tayade, P. B. & Adivarekar, R. V. (2013). Dyeing of cotton fabric with Cuminum cyminum L. as a natural dye & its comparison with synthetic dye. Journal of the Textile Institute, 104(10), 1080–1088.
Thakker, A. M. (2020). Sustainable processing of cotton fabrics with plant-based biomaterials Sapindus mukorossi & Acacia concinna for health-care applications. The Journal of The Textile Institute, 112(5), 718–726.
Tuberoso, C. I. G., Rosa, A., Montoro, P., Fenu, M. A. & Pizza, C. (2016). Antioxidant activity, cytotoxic activity & metabolic profiling of juices obtained from saffron (Crocus sativus L.) floral by-products. Food Chemistry, 199, 18–27.
Verma, M., Gahlot, N., Jeet, S. S. & Rose, N. M. (2021). UV protection & antibacterial treatment of cellulosic fibre ( cotton ) using chitosan & onion skin dye. Carbohydrate Polymers, 257, 117612.
Xie, P. jun, Huang, L. xin, Zhang, C. hong, & Zhang, Y. lei. (2015). Phenolic compositions, & antioxidant performance of olive leaf & fruit (Olea europaea L.) extracts & their structure-activity relationships. Journal of Functional Foods, 16(16), 460–471.
Zeka, K., Ruparelia, K. C., Continenza, M. A., Stagos, D., Vegliò, F. & Arroo, R. R. J. (2015). Petals of Crocus sativus L. as a potential source of the antioxidants crocin & kaempferol. Fitoterapia, 107, 128–134.