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Textile Dyeing Methods and Techniques

I am a writer with special expertise in textiles, fabrics, printing, and dyeing.

Read on to learn about the various methods of dyeing textiles.

Read on to learn about the various methods of dyeing textiles.

What Is Textile Dyeing?

Textile dyeing is the process of applying color evenly on the textile (fiber, yarn, fabric, or even garment). Depending on the requirements, dyeing can take place at any stage of manufacturing.

How Can Textiles Be Dyed?

As specified above, dyeing can take place at different stages of the textile manufacturing process using different methods. These are the four main stages when dyeing occurs:

  1. Fiber Stage
  2. Yarn Stage
  3. Fabric Stage
  4. Garment Stage

Fiber Stage Method

In this method, the dyeing is done at the fiber stage. Either the dyestuff is mixed in the chemical solution to manufacture man-made fibers, or the fibers are dyed in the dyebath.

Yarn Stage Method

In this method, the yarns that are spun using fibers are immersed in the dyebath, partially and completely. This is done before the yarns are used for the construction of fabrics. This is specially used to create various designs in the fabric, such as:

  • Stripes
  • Checks
  • Plaid
  • Tweed

Fabric Stage Method

In this method, color is applied to the fabric after its construction. The fabric is submerged into the dyebath to get the desired color.

Garment Stage Method

In this method, the finished garment is dyed in the dyebath in order to get the desired color.

What Are the Dyeing Techniques?

There are many different ways in which textiles can be dyed:

  • Solution Dyeing
  • Stock Dyeing
  • Hank/Skein Dyeing
  • Package Dyeing
  • Beam Dyeing (Yarns)
  • Winch/Beck Dyeing
  • Jet Dyeing
  • Jig Dyeing
  • Pad Dyeing
  • Beam Dyeing (Fabric)
  • Paddle Dyeing

These are the most common techniques used in the textile industry.

Solution Dyeing

Solution Dyeing

Techniques for the Fiber Stage

The following two techniques are used when textiles are at the fiber stage.

Solution Dyeing

As the name suggests, the dyestuff is added to the chemical solution of the man-made fiber. When the fiber filament appears from the spinnerette, the filament appears colored.

The advantage of this technique is that the colorfastness property of the textile will be excellent.

Stock Dyeing

The loose fibers are immersed in the dyebath before the processes of blending, combing, carding, and spinning take place.

The advantages of this technique are as follows:

  • Excellent colorfastness property to the textile
  • This allows the creation of a yarn of multiple colors to give a melange look to the fabric
  • Uniform distribution of the dyestuff

This is the costliest method of dyeing. The reason is that the dyeing is done prior to manufacturing the yarn, which will incur some wastage of the fibers, depending on the quality of the yarn required for further processing.

Techniques for the Yarn Stage

These three techniques occur during the yarn stage.

Hank/Skein Dyeing

The yarns are loosely arranged in a hank or skein form over a ring in a large container. This is then immersed in the dyebath to get the desired colors on the yarn. This is suitable for yarns that cannot be too stretched or compressed like wool.

Package Dyeing

In this technique, the yarn is wound on yarn carriers in packages in the spinning stage. The packages could be in the form of cones, cheeses, tubes etc. They are then arranged on perforated frames. The dye solution is then penetrated through the packages in a continuous movement to get the desired color.

Beam Dyeing

Beam Dyeing

Beam Dyeing (Yarns)

In beam dyeing, the warp yarns are wound on cylindrical beams, which are placed in a machine. The dyebath is run in a center-to-outside and then in an outside-to-center motion to get the desired depth of the color.

Winch Dyeing

Winch Dyeing

Techniques for the Fabric Stage

The next five are all fabric-stage dyeing techniques.

Winch/Beck Dyeing

The fabric ends are stitched together to make a continuous piece. The fabric is then immersed in the dye liquor in a slack condition and is rotated by a roller in the dye liquor. The dye, in this case, is stationary, whereas the fabric moves.

Jet Dyeing

This technique involves dyeing at the fabric stage. The fabric is placed in a rope form in a tube-like containment. There are pressure jets in the container, and the dye liquor is penetrated through the fabric through these jets.

Jig Dyeing

This technique involves dyeing at the fabric stage. In this technique, the fabric in an open-width form is held up on two rollers in a machine called a jig dyeing machine or a jigger. The fabric is unwound from one side, immersed into the dyebath, and then wound onto the other side. The action is repeated until the desired color is obtained on the fabric.

Jig Dyeing

Jig Dyeing

Pad Dyeing

Pad Dyeing

Pad Dyeing

This technique involves dyeing at the fabric stage. The fabric is wound on rollers in a pad dyeing machine in an open-width form. The fabric, in its long length, is then made to pass through a trough that contains the dye liquor and moved along the roller. It is a continuous process, and the excess dye is squeezed out of the fabric.

Beam Dyeing (Fabric)

This technique involves dyeing at the fabric stage. Just like in the yarn stage dyeing method, the fabric is wound on large cylindrical beams. The dye liquor is then pushed through the beams to impart color to the fabric.

Paddle Dyeing

Paddle Dyeing

Technique for the Garment Stage

There is only one main dyeing technique that occurs during the garment stage.

Paddle Dyeing

This technique involves dyeing at the garment stage after the construction of the garment. The garments are immersed in a dye solution and placed in a large container in the paddle dyeing machine. The garments are loosely packed, and a motor-driven paddle circulates the dye solution in the container to impart color to the garments.

This technique can also be used for dyeing individual components of a garment. In that case, the dyeing would take place before the construction of the fabric.

Other Special Techniques

These are some of the most common techniques used in the industry. Other than this, there are various other techniques (examples: cross-dyeing, union dyeing, etc.) that are used to impart special appearances to the textiles, depending on the requirement.

© 2019 PGupta0919


PGupta0919 (author) on July 03, 2020:

Yes you can definitely dye it. You can check out various YouTube tutorials to follow an exact process that you would prefer.

Linnea E Palmer on June 25, 2020:

I have a large amount of fabric I purchased to make a bed ruffle and add to my quilt. The fabric is not dark enough. It is a green batik. Can I dye it or paint it to make it darker. Do you have any suggestions

Kimberly Schimmel from Greensboro, NC on June 20, 2019:

Informative article! Thank you for sharing.

PGupta0919 (author) on June 08, 2019:

Thank you @KnowYourThings :)

The answer to your question is yes. If required, there can be multiple rotations.

KnowYourThings on June 07, 2019:

Thanks for writing such an informative post, really liked the breadth and optimum depth of knowledge about each technique.

I have a question though.

Can the pad dyeing also have multiple rotation of fabric ?