"There have been many things used over the centuries to dye fabric. Boiled shellfish, plants, mud and just about anything else with a strong pigment has been used to change the color of fabric. By the middle of the 1800s, people started to create chemicals that mimicked the effects of natural dyes. These chemical substitutes are what are most often used today to dye our fabrics. Some dyes are still taken from plants, and some dyes are mixtures of synthetic chemicals and natural plant dyes. There are also a number of natural dyes used today to keep up with the public demand for more natural products.