Tie and dye is the simplest and the most interesting and vibrant form of resist dyeing. The fabrics which are tied and dyed are very colorful and have different patterns and designs. This is one of the oldest methods found in the east especially in China, Egypt, India, Japan and Indonesia. Most of the creative types of designs in this process are found in Europe.
In this technique the fabric is tied firmly with threads of different colors in various places and then dyed. Totally depending on the way the threads are tied, the result is different patterns like Lehriya, Ekdali, Mothda and Shikari.
Tie and dye are of the following types:
- The fabric is tied and dyed, like the Bandhani, Lehriya etc.
- The wrap is tied and dyed, like that in lkat.
- Both the wrap and weft are tied and dyed like that in double lkat, Patola etc.
Bandhanis are the most famous type of this method carried out mostly in Rajasthan. These are the most colorful and attractive types of fabrics. There are various types of bandhani clothes available like bandhani dupattas, sarees, kurtas, shits, bags, jholas etc.
The dyes are extracted mainly from various parts of plants, flowers, barks, leaves etc. Mostly vegetable dyes are used but the chemical dyes are replacing them nowadays. Synthetic fabric is also in demand; the thread used for tying is a synthetic thread. The famous colors used for this process are bright yellow, red, green, orange, pink and maroon.
There are various types of dyes used in this process like:
- Vat dyes: These are the original natural dyes. Cotton and wools can be dyed with vat dyes. In this process, if the same color is needed for the whole fabric then the fabric is dyed by immersing it in a bucket. This is the direct type of application of dye.
- Direct dye: Popularly known as hot water dyes, requires no binding or any exhausting agents and are directly dipped in hot water. This process is used in all types of fabrics like cotton, silk, nylon and wool. They are available in both liquid concentration and powder form.
- Napthol Dyes: In this process when two chemicals are combined, it produces a third colorful product by reacting to it. The fabrics are first dyed with one and printed with the other. The major drawback for this kind is that not many chemicals of this type are available which can produce more colors on reacting.
- Procion dyes: This method is mostly used on cellulose fabrics like cotton, linen and rayon. This is a ‘cold water’ process used in solar dyeing, tie and dye and batik. Salt and soda helps in removing excess dye from the fabric.
Tie and dye is an easy method which can be carried out at home. But it surely requires the basic knowledge and experience to do it the correct way.
Here is a step by step procedure on how to tie and dye.
First, prepare the fabric. Take a destarched cotton fabric. Destarching can be done by soaking it in water overnight.
Prepare the design and pattern of the motif like the leaves, flowers etc; before tying it. Now tie the motif according to your pattern with the help of threads. There is no right or wrong method of creating patterns on the fabric. The beauty of this technique is in the fact that each and every way you tie will get a new design everytime. You can do concentrated circles, lehariya, Tritik, cheques, knotting, random patters etc.
Now dip the fabric in water for 5 minutes to soak it completely. Take the fabric out and squeeze out the excess water.
Prepare the dye mixture in a bucket and immerse the fabric into the dye which is light in color. The dye mixture is made by first heating the water closer to the boiling point and adding the dye color. The dye color is made by mixing the powder dye in little water at room temperature. Since we are learning this process, take the fabric out of the dye bath after 5 minutes. Add a table spoon of salt or a full spoon depending on the water quantity and put the fabric again in the dye bath. Salt aids the dyeing process and drives the dye onto the fabric. Soak the fabric for about 5 minutes.
Then, take the fabric out and wash it thoroughly and let it dry.
You can also remove some knots and dip the fabric into a dye of darker color or you can again thread the fabric and dip it into another dye of darker colour to get 3 colors. Then, wash the fabric thoroughly and leave it to dry.
Once it is dried up, open all the knots and you can see a beautiful pattern of colors on the fabric.
In bandhani, this process is repeated several times with several colors. The fabric is dipped in color or brushed over the required areas and after this process, the fabric is dipped in castor oil and dried.
A little different form bandhani technique is the lehriya technique, in which the fabric is rolled from corner to another and strings are tied at intervals.
When it comes to fashion no one wants to compromise with their style. We make it a point to look perfect from head to toe. The tie and dye dresses are a hit these days, they are unique, fashionable and comfortable. They creates a fashion statement which carries a unique art and it boosts your energy when you sport those vibrant colors. Let’s Expresso- Tie and dye, fashion which never fades!!