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Different types of Textile Dyeing

Updated on by Sarina

Dyeing process refers to the interaction between dye and fibers, resulting in the transfer of dye into the fibers (through absorption, diffusion, precipitation).  Most of the dyeing processes are meant to transfer color onto the fabric surface in an even manner. There are many ways to dye fabric depending on the dye used, the fabric used, and the technology used.

textile dyeing

Basic methods of dyeing


Conventional textile dyeing (machine)

The normal method of textile dyeing involves dyeing the surface of the fabric. The fabric is dyed after it is made. Reactive dyes are usually used. Other chemical substances like caustic soda, soda ash, sodium sulfate, etc are also used in conventional dyeing.

Dyeing is carried out in large dyeing machines loaded with the dye solution and other additives.

Spun dyeing/Dope dyeing

This is an advanced textile dyeing technique in which the fibers are immersed and dyed completely by dyeing with a spinning solution before the yarn is made. Also called dope dyeing, this process is used for synthetic fibers as well as cellulosic and non-cellulosic fibers.

For synthetic fabrics, polymers are dyed before they are made into fibers. The colors are vibrant, clear, and colorfast.

Hand dyeing

This is manual dyeing of fabric and yarn.

According to its order in the textile production

Stock Dyeing/Fiber dyeing

Stock dyeing is dyeing the fibers before they are spun into yarn.

Yarn Dyeing

In this method, yarn is dyed before it is woven into fabric.

Piece dyeing

This is dyeing which takes place after a fabric is made. (so also called fabric dyeing) ie. pieces (bolts) of the fabric are dyed. Pad dyeing, Jet dyeing and Winch dyeing and different methods of this.

Garment dyeing

The completed garment is dyed after the manufacturing and sewing processes are over.

Random Dyeing

Random dyeing involves dyeing specific sections of the yarn.

Dyeing method according to the process

Direct Dyeing

Here the dye is applied directly to the fabric. The dyestuff is fermented (natural dyes) or chemically reduced (synthetic vat and sulfur dyes) before application in this procedure. Cotton fibers are primarily dyed with direct dyes, which are water-soluble.

Resist Dyeing

Resist-dyeing is a popular way to apply colors or patterns to fabric. The dye is blocked from reaching specific regions of the cloth by a material that is impermeable to the dye, while other parts of the fabric are free to absorb the dye color. Before dyeing, tie-dyeing entails squeezing portions of material and binding them tightly with thread.

Immersion Dyeing

Immersion dyeing is the method of keeping the fabric or fibers completely immersed in a dye solution. You want to make sure that the fibers can move around freely so that the dye color may be saturated evenly.

Dip Dyeing

As the name suggests, Dip dying cloth involves dipping the fabric in a bucket or vat of dye to change its color partially. This method is usually used when you want to dye a particular portion only or want to create an ombre effect on your cloth.

Vat Dyeing

The word “vat dyeing” refers to dyeing that takes place in a bucket or vat. A vat is produced from dyestuff, and then the fabric is dyed in it. Indigo dyeing using indigo dyes derived from plants can be said to be one of the earliest forms of vat dyeing. Today, jeans denim is vat dyed. The vat dyes are available in a wide spectrum of colors and have good to exceptional colorfastness. Cellulosic fibers, particularly cotton fiber, are dyed with this method.

Discharge Dyeing

In Discharge dyeing, the dye from an already dyed fabric is removed in specific places  (to form patterns or designs)with the help of various chemicals or bleach by stamping, stenciling or block printing, etc. A discharge paste or decoloring agent, or bleach is applied on the fabric with the help of a brush, stamp, or screen on the dyed fabric.

Natural Dyeing

Since ancient times, onions, saffron, indigo, turmeric, butternut squash husks, dandelion roots, coffee grounds/tea, bougainvillea, avocado, and other plants have been used to color textiles and yarn. The simplest natural dyeing method is to boil the fabric in the dye bath.  Simmer until the desired color is achieved. Rinse your fabric in cold water when it’s finished. Natural dyeing is not as bright or colorfast as chemical dyeing, but it is environmentally friendly and gives you subtle but beautiful colors.

Eco Dyeing

Eco dyeing is a natural dyeing method in which fabric is dyed with the help of leaves – it is almost like printing in that the dye from plants appears as prints. In this method, plants and flowers are placed on top of fabric, in a single layer or stacked on top of each other and then steamed or immersed in hot water . This process extracts the pigments on the leaves to the fabric and creates a print on the fabric.  This method results in a contact print in the shape of the leaf or flower used.

Resist dyeing methods

Tie and Dye

Tie-dyeing is a resist-dyeing technique that involves folding, twisting, pleating, or crumpling cloth or a garment before binding it with string or rubber bands and applying dyes so that the dyeing completely misses the folded/pleated and bound area.

Tie-dye can be used to create a wide range of fabric designs, including classic patterns like spiral, diamond, and marbled effect

Related posts: What is tie and dye? ; Different ways to tie and dye; Tie and dye designs.

Shibori dyeing

Shibori is a tie-dye technique that originated in Japan and has been used since the 8th century.

There are several methods like stitching, Wrapping the fabric around a core of rope, wood, or other material and binding it tightly with string or thread before dyeing that results in intricate patterns and motifs and these fabrics were used traditionally for kimonos, obi, and other accessories and apparel, just like in tie and dye areas of the fabric against the core or under the binding would be left uncolored

Related post: Shibori nui dyeing.

Batik dyeing

This is a resist-dyeing technique that is said to have originated in Java. Wax is applied to certain regions of the fabric so that only the dyed areas absorb it. The technique can be repeated numerous times with different colors for the multicolored effect usually seen in batik fabrics. Earlier batik was completely done by hand but today, Machine dye imitates the methods

Related post: Batik fabric.

Textile dyeing, according to the technology used

Speck Dyeing

In this dyeing, colored specks are made in a variety of colors and tones on wool yarn.

Warp Beam Dyeing and Bale dyeing

In these methods, the warp is dyed prior to weaving. The colored warp and white weft yarns are used for weaving

Package dyeing

This is a type of yarn dyeing used in textile industries.

Double dyeing

This is the term used for the dyeing of blended fabrics. The two types of fibers in the fabric are dyed differently.

Cross Dyeing

A special type of dyeing a piece of fabric or yarn made with two or more kinds of fiber (blended) having different dyeing qualities is dyed in a single bath.

Pad-Steam Dyeing

Pad-Steam dyeing is an industrial textile dyeing process in which the dye is padded into the fabric and then steamed using pad dyeing machines. The pad dyeing is used for reactive dyeing of cotton and cotton-blend materials.

Pigment Dyeing

This is the process of dyeing fabric with water-insoluble pigments. Binders are used to bind the pigment to the fabric. It is not a popular method for dyeing fabric – it is a specialized technique for creating specific effects.

Chain dyeing

In this method, yarns and fabrics are tied end-to-end, and they are then run through the dyebath in a continuous process.

Related posts : Different types of dyes; How to dye fabric; How to dye with natural dyes.; Indigo dyeing; How to dye polyester fabrics.

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