Tie and Dye

Hanif Bhai is an enthusiastic artist. He enjoys most when he can explain the process and importance of his art to others. His constantly ‘thinking’ mind, churns out some of the most unique concepts which have been worked around, this residency.

Here’s an excerpt from our diary:

: For different types of cloth, different dyeing techniques are used. To get the design on the cloth, a tracing paper stencil is used.

: The pattern/design is drawn on the paper, and holes are made along the lines with a needle. A solution of dry indigo and water is the prepared, which is then applied over the paper, after placing in on the cloth. This makes the indigo soak into the cloth, thereby getting the pattern on the paper.

: The technique involves tying or sewing, for two different patterns. Different types of knots can be tied, as per the design needed, big, small, thick, thin, etc.. with cotton threads.

: The artists came up with the technique of using syringe caps, for smooth flow of the thread, while tying knots. The traditional way for
tying knots was with the help of brass/copper pipes. Basic sewing can also be done and pulled together, to get a wrinkled pattern after the cloth is dyed.

Dyeing Process:

For cotton cloth, direct dyeing is one of the easiest methods. In boiling water, dyes are put in, as per the cloth used. The coloured water is flicked on the boiling pot, to check the tone/shade of the color, and mix more, if needed.

Washing soda is then added to the boiling solution, in the ratio of 1:3, with the dye used, for permanency of the dye (color). The water must be boiling, when the cloth is put in for dyeing, always. Once the color is obtained on the cloth, after the dipping, it must be washed off in cold water, to take off excess color. For dyeing the cloth in different colors, it may be wrapped in polythene and tied up with rubber-strips, and the entire cloth can be put in the dye-solution and boiled for a few minutes. The portion to be dyed must not be tied up. The dark colours require the water to be boiling, whereas lighter colours, such as pastels can work with cold/room temperature water as well. The cloth is then dried up, under the sun, or otherwise. Different parts of the cloth can further be dyed, using the technique, by covering up areas with polythene, or using thread-knots. To discharge (remove) colours once dyed, Sodium Hydrosulphite, sometimes called hydro is used, by adding 3/4th of a teaspoon in a litre of boiling water, and dip in the cloth.
Let the cloth boil for a while, and the colour will discharge off gradually. The dyeing process can then be done again, as per requirements, by tying knots, or using polythene-covers. The knots must only be opened once the cloth has dried up, to avoid smudging of colour.

For silks and georgettes, the quality of dyes differs from that of cotton. The water must be boiling, for darker colours, and cold/room temperature water works for lighter colours or pastels. Instead of adding washing soda for cotton, for permanency of colours, acetic acid is used while dyeing silks and georgettes. Also, after following the same process, as that for cotton, the cloth must be washed in cold water, and then dried. The drying should never be under sunlight, else the colours may fade.

And with that, Hanif Bhai concluded his lecture ;)


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