Committed to ColoursThe clothing industry has a very colourful history, if you would try to trace the history of the clothing industry it would be somehow long and even now that the world is so advance clothing is still viewed of the greatest necessity in our daily life. The textile industry in India is so enriched that it has multiple facets. There are many textile surface embellishment techniques prevalent in India, of which Tie and dye has become one of the most popular in recent times. The craftsmen and rural artists are extremely talented and use a mixture of conventional and modern techniques. Today's business world demands creativity to succeed, no matter what kind of business one is into. This is because each business needs to be unique. Generally handicraft business is a good business, especially it can be distinct and distinguishable from others. Tie and Dye has now crossed the borders of its parent states Rajasthan and Gujarat and has come to be accepted as one of the contemporary garment embellishment techniques. Tie and Dye techniques give you an opportunity to easily brighten up your wardrobe and experiment with colours and fabrics on your own. One needs to have the passion for art and crafts to be able to turn tie and dye into one's own business. It is true that with creativity and experimentation one can make money selling beautiful tie and dye material. Creativity is the key in this business as this will help differ your fabric from the rest. As a starter one needs to be competitive by reducing the price tag on the fabric so as to get more customers. When they find out the quality is good, they will ask for more products and your work will speak for you, so you must try to make tie and dye fabric very beautiful and original as much as possible, you need to be competitive in your prices and quality.

Tie and Dye Techniques: As the name suggests the techniques of tie and dye involves two stages tying sections of a length of cloth and then dunking it into vats of colour. Tie and dye is a resist method of patterning fabric that is achieved by withholding dye from certain areas of the fabric, This leaves the original undyed area as the background or vice versa. This method can be used to combine lots of colour by tying and covering certain areas according to the effect desired thereafter the fabric opens out into amazing designs: dots, circles, squares, waves and stripes.

Major Centres of Tie and Dye in India and Across the World:
The centres of tie and dye fabric, especially in Gujarat are Jamnagar in Saurashtra and Ahmadabad. The finest bandhani work of Rajasthan comes from Bikaner, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Barmer, Pali, Udaipur, Nathdwara. Pochampalli is also one of the three main traditional yarn dyeing centres in country. Tritik and plangi which are derived from Indonesia. Additional varaities include mudmee which originated in Thailand but is also used in Laos. Shibori, which started in Japan somewhere around the eight century.

Choice of Dye: The process of tie and dye in earlier times was done with the use of basic colours extracted from plants. The shellac was used for reds, turmeric for yellow, Ion shavings and vinegar for black and pomengrate rinds for green. Many different types of dyes are available for use in this tie and dye technique. The most preferred ones are the reactive dyes .Tie and Dye cloth is never too expensive but be warned that the colours always run so if you have bought silk, it is safer to get it drycleaned.

Types of materials to Dye: Tie and dye is good to be done on anything that is made of 100% cotton blends on the market. It is important to prewash and dry the items, soften, pre- shrunk and prepare the item to absorb the dye to the dye best of their ability. It is good to practise with lots of old tops because it is important to know how different types of fabric react and produce different patterned hues when different concentrations of dye are applied on them.

Tie and Dye patterns:

Committed to Colours1) Small circles - For small circles, pinch about 2-3 inches of the fabric. Insert marble piece and tie it with rubber band or string to hold secure .You can make many small circles in a particular pattern over the fabric.

2) Stripes
- Lay down the fabric on the floor. With loose hands, roll the fabric into long tube, tightly wrap strings or rubber bands around the fabric.

3) Pleats
- Lay down the fabric and using both the hands pinch the fabric with thumb and forefinger placed at an inch or two apart. Continue making pleats till the end of the fabric, tie fabric with rubber band.

4) Spiral
- Lay down the fabric over the flat surface, spiral patterns are created by gathering a small section, usually with a cloth pin or a kitchen fork, in the middle of the fabric and slowly rotating the piece creating pleats of the fabric arranged in swirls around a centre point. It is gathered into a flat round bundle and the different wedges of the circular bundle are dyed in different colours to create a greater spiral effect.

5) V shape
- The 'V' shape is achieved by folding a top half vertically, and then a line is drawn diagonally from the shoulder area down to the centre fold of the top. The fabric is then accordingly folded along the line and bound into one or more areas to which the dye is applied.

Committed to Colours6) Guitar - The guitar is more complex style of tie and dye than the spiral. By folding the top diagonally in half from shoulder to waist and baste stitching half of a guitar pattern an easy template is ready to dye the guitar pattern, for this style one should use fewer colours to find the clear picture of guitar on your tie and dyed fabric.

7) Marble - Take the fabric and crumple it into a bundle. Randomly tie rubber bands around the t-shirt in a crisscross pattern. Dip the crumpled fabric in the dye bath.

8) Random
- This category can hold several different patterns, the majority of which have nothing to do with each other; they can be combinations or they can be as chaotic as bundling the item to be dyed.

The above mentioned tie and dye techniques are instructions will surely help you design a tie and dye fabric. Start with simple tie and dye patterns and then slowly try the hard ones. You can make your fabric as colourful as you want by using 3 or more colours. For beginners it is advisable to use only primary colours. Tie and dye end result can only be predicted after a lot of experience and then you will notice that every tie 'n' dye product that you make comes out to be unique.

The author is associated with Satyam Fashion Institute, Noida

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