Mar 6, 2016


The magic of transforming a length of white cotton cloth into a bright myraid magic of colours is this art called TIE and DYE.

This is the method used in our traditional Bandhini work of Gujarat and the Madurai Sungidi sarees of Tamil Nadu.

I will try to explain this process which may seem complicated but is relatively easy .

We use resistance technique to preserve colors in areas where the design requires ,using "tying " technique and then "Dyeing "the fabric.

Hence the name -TIE and DYE.

Once you master the basics,you can create umpteen number of patterns .

You need ...

  • White cotton fabric -destarched.
  • Threads,ropes ,stones,lentils of various sizes and shapes.

  • Direct dyes of desired colors
  • Salt
  • Fixing agent
  • A Large basin to boil water and to be used as your dye bath


  • Take a well ironed cotton cloth of required size.
  • Keep  a tiny round dhal in the center.Tie the dhal with a fine thread firmly.
  • The basic circle is fixed in your cloth now.
  • Now,gather the cloth and tie in equal distances where you want the white color to be fixed.
  • Now , add a few liters of water in a metal vessel ,and mix some yellow color to a paste with hot water and add to the bath.Add a handful of salt to the dye bath.
  • When it is fully dissolved,add the cloth and boil well,stirring now and then for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from the dye bath and soak in cold water to which a teaspoon of fixing agent is added.Let it stay for a few hours.Dry without opening the ties.
  • Now,the whole cloth will be yellow.
  • Tie up areas where ever you want yellow to be preserved.
  • Now use a similar method and dye the cloth in red color.
  • Next,preserve the red areas and dye it in dark brown.
  • Soak your cloth in fixing agent for a day and rinse well in plain water  .
  • Dry the cloth.
  • Open up the knots patiently taking care not to tear the cloth.
  • Now you will see various hues and patterns coming alive in this fabric right before you....
  • Press the cloth and use it as your duppata,cushion cover,table cloth etc.

Some more Tie and Dye posts to follow soon...

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