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Ancient indian art Tie & Dye

Tie & dye is a very popular method of dyeing clothes known all over the world. This term was coined in the middle of the 20th century. But what the west does not know is the fact that this art of dyeing clothes into beautiful patterns and colors has been practiced in India since ages. Bandhani is an art of resisting total dyeing of a piece of cloth by tying it in different styles before dipping it inside the boiling dye.

shibori tie and dye

Some of the different ways in which cloth is tied before it is dyed are as follows.

  • Twisting
  • Folding
  • Crumpling
  • Pleating

However, even with a particular style of tying, it is possible to achieve different interesting results in terms of patterns and shading. This becomes possible with the help of the rubber bands or the strings that are used for the tying of the piece of cloth.  The secret behind this ancient art of tie and dye is the desire to apply dye to a piece of cloth but not completely. It is this desire that has given rise to different techniques of tie & dye. Sequential steps in tie and dye and even application of a little dye before using different ways of resist only shows the desire to obtain different result from tie and dye. Batik print is only a subset of tie & dye which evolved with resist dyeing through use of wax.


Leheria tie dye

Today, tie & dye is extremely popular way of resist dyeing in all parts of the world. Even though cotton is the fabric that is mostly used in tie & dye, it is interesting to note that earliest evidence of the art of Bandhani dates back to Indus Valley Civilization. This proves that the art of tie & dye was known to the people of ancient civilization even though they used other kids of fabrics to achieve the effects. It was not just India but also Japan, China, and Indonesia where the art of tie & die had spread during ancient times.


bandhani tie dye

There have been many changes in the techniques of tie & dye in modern times with the discovery of fiber reactive, acid, and vat dyes. Today not only cotton but even synthetic fabrics can be beautified using the technique of tie and dye. There are also available protein based fibers like wool, silk, feather and also nylon that can be easily used for tie and dye.

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