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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Tiedye Techniques (Traditional method).


Tie-dye describes a technique of resist dyeing whereby fabric is folded, tied, stitched or crumpled to keep the dye from reaching certain areas of the cloth.  This technique produces amazing designs of various types and different colors depending on the amount of times the fabric is manipulated and dyed.


Like batik, tie-dye is an ancient art form that is said to have its roots in many regions of the world. Some of the earliest examples of this art form were found among the people of early India (approx. 5000 years ago), the pre-Columbian people of Peru (A.D. 500-800), the early Japanese (A.D. 552-794), Chinese (A.D. 618-906) and various West African populations (date unknown).

Tie and dye is one of the most widely accepted and one of the most traditional methods of printing textiles. It is difficult the trace the origin of this craft but according to some references it was first developed in Jaipur in the form of leheriya but it is also believed that it was brought to Kutch from Sind by Muslim Khatri's who are still largest community involved in this craft. Only vegetable dyes were used back then.

Example:- Turmeric for dyeing yellow, Indigo for blue, Purple from shellfish and conch shell, Henna for green

Bandhani: Indian tie-dye technique

Bandhani, also known as Bandhni and Bandhej, is the oldest tie-dye tradition we know that is still practiced. The Malay-Indonesian name for this technique is 'Plangi'. The technique involves a design made of dots, in which many small points are tied with thread before immersion dyeing.

Shibori: Japanese tie-dye (and stitch-dye, fold-dye, and pole wrap-dye)

Japanese tie-dye is included among the many techniques of shibori, which has been used for many centuries to make different types of beautiful patterns on cloth used for elaborate kimonos. An excellent resource on this subject is Wada, Rice, and Barton's book.

African Tie Dye

It is well known that tie-dye has traditionally been used in Africa, Tie-dye techniques have also been used for centuries in the Hausa region of West Africa, with renowned indigo dye pits located in and around Kano, Nigeria. The tie-dyed clothing is then richly embroidered in traditional patterns. It has been argued that the Hausa techniques were the inspiration for the hippie fashion.*

Modern Multi-Color Tie-Dye

The modern technique of simultaneously applying different colors of dye directly to cotton became possible with the development of cold water fiber reactive dyes, which, though introduced to the textile industry in the 1950s, did not become widely available to the art and craft world until later. The first lucky few in the 1960s used Procion MX dye purchased under the trade name of Fibrec, Others used duller, inferior dyes, or hazardous naphthol dyes, or acrylic paints. Procion Mx and Dyna Flow can also be used for dyeing Silk, Batik Printing and Screen Printing. These colours are NON- TOXIC, Water Soluble and are safe for Children and School Projects. They are not available to india however you can always purchase them from and they will do the shipping.


Procion Mx  Pigments for Batik/ Tiedye/ Screen Printing - Cold water fabric reative dyes

Cold water fibre reactive dye by Jacquard.- Silk painting, Serti Technique, Salt & Alcohol effects, Airbrushing, Spraying, Sponge printing, faux Tie-dye and Batik

Tulip Tie dye set for dyeing natural fibre like cottom, silk & rayon - cold water fiber reactive.

Tie - Dye can be done by various techniques these are just some of the techniques by which it can be done. I have displayed samples of single and double tie-dye which I recently created at home. This the traditional method of dyeing.

Warning: The colours available for Tie dye in India are mostly Chemicals. Adult Supervision is required in case of children. Make sure you wear gloves and wash your hands, face and eyes after you finish dyeing. Do not use the utensil  or ladle for cooking once dyeing is done.

Materials Required:
  • 15 Samples of Cotton 10"x10".
  • Tie-Dye Colour - I used Atlas brand which is a chemical dye.
  • Detergent.
  • Salt.
  • Gloves.
  • Utensil to  make the dye solution in.
  • A bucket full of water.
  • A piece of wood or a useless ladle.
  • Gas or Heater
  • Thread or Rubber band to tie.

Dyeing Method: (Traditional)

Follow the instructions of the manufacturer and prepare the dye solution. Test the colours of the dye with small scraps of fabric or by cotton swab before you start the dyeing process. Tie all your fabrics with thread or rubber and then dip them in a bucket full of water for 10 minutes min. Squeeze out the excess water before you start dyeing.

Bring the liquid dye solution to a boil ( Add 1-1/2 teaspoon dye colour, 1 teaspoon detergent and 1 tea - spoon salt to 1 litre of water, make sure no knots are formed mix it nicely with the help of a ladle or wooden stick) and then dip the tied cloth in the dye solution. To obtain the desired shade simmer the gas. To get deeper shade leave that portion of the cloth for a longer period of time until you get the desired colours.

Then rinse in cold water, squeeze the excess water again from the fabric by rollling it like a towel. Untie the knots or rubberband once the fabric is partially dry. Remove the threads and shake the fabric. Allow it to dry completely. Then press the fabric with care don't worry uneven dyeing adds to the beauty of the fabric.

Single Tie-Dye:

1) Rouching

2) Folding

3) Fanning

5) Coins

6) All Pins

7) Rice

8) Rajma

9) Dal

10) Channa

Double Tie-Dye:

1) Leheriya

2) Circular Leheriya

3) Tritic

4) Knotting

5) Pencil

I hope you enjoyed this little display of tie and dye work. I will keep posting new samples from time to time.


* References: Wikipedia

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