Textile dyeing can be a rewarding do-it-yourself project. There are many different methods of dyeing both fabrics and yarns. Reusing, recycling and recoloring old materials help the environment as well as provide a creative outlet for producing artistic pieces. Some of the most popular textile dyeing techniques that can be done at home include coloring yarn in coils as well as applying batik and shibori methods onto fabrics.
Shibori is the ancient Japanese art of textile dyeing. The process begins with drawing a shape or design onto a piece of cloth. Next, a needle is threaded with thread and worked on the drawn pattern in a type of knot stitch. The shibori crafter decides where to add the stitches to the drawing to create an interesting final result.
The knotted fabric is dipped in one or more different colors of dye. After dyeing the threaded cloth, the thread is removed to reveal a hazy type of design effect. Different techniques can be used to vary the look. For instance, if the fabric is gathered up or pleated in the shibori textile dyeing process, the end result will look much different than knotting alone produces.
Batik is a method of textile dyeing that uses both wax and dye. The method is very old and originates in Africa and Asia. The fabric is pre-washed, dried and ironed before being stretched over a tray or board. An embroidery hoop may be used instead. A design is drawn onto the fabric before melted wax is applied to the parts of the pattern that will stay the same color as the cloth.
After the wax is applied, the fabric is removed from the stretcher and dipped into dye. If the wax cracks, thin lines will appear in the batik design. The cloth is then rinsed in cold water and hung to dry. The entire batik textile dyeing process is repeated as many times as needed to create the desired colors and patterns.
Yarn dyeing at home can be done using yarns neatly wrapped into coils. The coiling is necessary in this type of yarn textile dyeing to prevent tangling. The yarn coils are submersed into a pot or bucket of dye, water and vinegar. The yarn is then rinsed and dried. Some types of yarn may be hung to dry while others can be placed into a mesh bag and dried in an automatic clothes dryer.