Tobacco is not known for its dye potentials, but a relatively young organization based in North Carolina has come up with a way of deriving natural dyes from tobacco, along with producing essential oils and textiles also coming from the use of tobacco.
In fact, Ploughboy, the Raleigh-based organization, just recently garnered an investment-boost amounting to $1 million USD from the Canada-based ComWest Enterprise Corp.
Patenting the utilization of tobacco in deriving fabrics, essential oils and dyes, the overall utilization of tobacco is likened to the use of jute and hemp, churning out bast fibers which are often made from organically grown crops.
Needless to say, the tobacco used by Ploughboy is organic in its growth and crop production practices.
Given that tobacco is mainly used in the making of smoking products, the concept of utilizing it as a sustainable means for producing natural and organic fabrics and fabric ingredients is one which extends from its typical purpose as a crop.
Given the consumption drop of tobacco-made products, the idea behind Ploughboy’s tobacco-inclinations is quite easy to figure out – tobacco crop producers can still continue with their operations, even if demand for tobacco in smoking products are dwindling.
“There is likely to be excess production capacity for tobacco plants that will allow its economical use as a natural textile and other natural products,” shares Suzanne DeVall, CEO and founder of Ploughboy.
With its patent filed, the organization, in its adherence in maximizing the use of tobacco, represents a forward thinking approach in sustainable production practices, thinking out of the box in addressing concerns for the environment and concerns over the financial-sustainability and production feasibility of materials geared in the production of natural fibers. Need I say these are worth the purchase?