Natural Dye (Part 2 of 5): Natural Dye Textile



Good quality naturally-dyed textile is something rare and difficult to come by these days. is honored to be able to share this traditional art to consumers in South East Asia. Our range of natural dye textile includes tie dye and batik dye, all of which are handmade and 100% eco-friendly. What a better way to love our earth!


How is it made?

There are two types of naturally-dyed textiles in our collection: Tie dye and batik dye. The secret to quality dyeing is to know who produces the dye and what type of natural dye to be used on what kind of fabric. Staying true to our name, we know the secrets of Asia and we supply only the best quality products available in the Asian region. Before any textile can be dyed, these are the basic steps that dye producers go through:


1.   Depending on the production house, the plant materials are usually cut into small pieces.


A dye maker cutting leaves into smaller pieces












2.  Choose a method of extraction: Boiling, or solvent extraction process using Methanol


The leaves are boiled on charcoal to produce colours. 2007













3.   In the case of boiling method, the dye ingredients (peels/leaves/roots/tree bark, etc.) are soaked in a large pot of water and then boiled for 1 hour (or any desired time for the right colour) at 100⁰C.

Once the dye is ready, it’s time to get the fabric coloured!


Indigofera Tinctoria leaves are boiled and then soaked in small amount of water for months to produce stronger and thicker colour paste.












4.   The plain fabric is first washed with clean water to remove any dirt or industrial residues. This process helps the fabric to absorb the dye easier.


Plain fabric is washed










5.   To further absorb the natural dye better, the cloth is first soaked in alum, a type of mordant made of mineral.


Cloth is soaked in alum













Once the fabric is ready, it is then sent to respective dyeing department for dyeing process.

For tie dye, the steps are as follows:


6.   After pre-conditioning, tie dye makers start tying the plain white weft according to the designs desired. Common patterns include “spiral”, “horizontal”, “spider”, “peace”, and so on. Some of the popular tie dye techniques are Tritik and Plangi (from Indonesia), Bandhani (from India), Mudmee (from Thailand), and Shibori (from Japan).


Sample of different tying method.










7.   Depending on the technique, the fabric is then dipped or soaked into the dye according to a specific pattern or design. Considerable amount of time is needed for the colour to be properly absorbed. The longer it is, the darker the colour will be.


Dip technique

Dip technique












8.  Once the dyer knows the fabric is ready, the fabric is then soaked into another mordant to seal the colours onto the fabric fibers. It also functions as “saddening” or “blooming”. The former darkens the colours and the latter brightens it.


“saddening” or “blooming”.












9.  Once the dipping is done, the strings/rubbers will be cut and the textile is then washed and then hanged in shady area to dry.


Strings/rubbers be cut










10.  The fabric is then ironed before it is ready to be sent for tailoring.



Several yards of white fabric turned into a simple tie-dye design



 Continue to part 3: Natural Dye Apparels

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