Some of the best parts of starting your own clothing line are aspects like sketching your ideas and choosing the colors for your different garments. But how do you apply color to pieces of fabric, textiles, and synthetic fibers?
Textile dyeing is when you add color to your fabrics. All those striking reds, somber darks, and comforting earth tones are all achieved through various textile dyeing methods.
On a smaller level, the textile fibers absorb the dye, then diffuse throughout the material. What results, ideally, is that perfect color you were shooting for.
Different Types of Textile Dyeing Methods
Which textile dyeing method will work best with your new clothing line? Not all dyeing methods occur at the same time throughout the clothing manufacturing process.
For example, some methods happen at the fiber stage, well before production on a garment begins. Let’s explore some ways to dye clothing to help narrow it down.
This is a more environmentally conscious dyeing method in which the raw materials (the fibers) are dyed before the manufacturing process. This allows for greater prevention of chemical runoff over traditional dyeing processes. Solution dyeing has the benefit of reducing energy consumption as well as promoting long-lasting colors in clothing.
Companies like Patagonia are embracing the environmentally-conscious practice of solution dyeing, opting for a less conventional but efficient dyeing process.
This occurs when loose fibers are submerged into a dye machine or vat before the fibers spin into yarn during the manufacturing process. It’s a helpful way to dye massive amounts of fabric at once.
This is different from solution dyeing in that stock dyed materials only contain the dye pigment on the outside of the fabric.
When textile workers utilize this for yarn dyeing, they take skeins (coiled lengths of yarn) and submerge them into a dye vat at boiling temperatures.
This form of textile dyeing is when yarn wraps around a perforated beam, then placed in a dye machine. Once undergoing the dyeing process under immense pressure, the fabric gets dyed through the holes on the beam.
This cylindrical process continues until the desired color is reached. Once processing is over, the beam leaves the dyeing machine and cools.
Fabric in the jig dyeing method is forced from side to side through a dye liquor by two large rollers flanking a dye vat. The fabric is rolled back and forth in the jig dyeing machine until the textile worker decides on the desired color and intensity.
This dyeing method happens at the garment stage when a garment has everything but its defining color. Paddle dyeing, a simple technology, involves the fabric being submerged loosely in a giant vat of dye and then moved about by a motorized paddle.
This dyeing process uses a massive amount of water, leading to more negative environmental impacts. While it’s an efficient way to dye fabric, it takes a considerable toll.
The Textile Dyeing Process: Pollution Problems
In 2011, the Jian River in Luoyang, China, ran red. Although giving residents and the world a bit of a scare, they soon discovered the origin of the concerning crimson water. As it turned out, two factories illegally dumped their dye into stormwater pipes.
Textile Dyeing Methods: What’s The Pollution Solution?
We can lean on more natural dyes instead of destroying the environment with effluents and wasteful runoff into drinking water. Synthetic dyes are cheaper to use but have a much more detrimental long-term effect on the environment.
Shoveling off tons of carcinogenic, synthetic dyes into our environment has a high cost.
That’s why embracing more sustainable design practices is crucial for fashion design going forward. While more costly than synthetic dyes, natural dyes provide fewer health risks for everyone involved in the process. It’s no contest in terms of cutting down on chemical pollution.
There are low-impact dyes, too, which require less water, resulting in less chemical runoff into water sources. While not as sustainable as natural dyes, low-impact dyes unsurprisingly have a much lesser impact on our environment.
At The Evans Group, we ensure that our sourced fabric is of the utmost quality and has undergone ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices before use. When you plan your next clothing line, you shouldn’t have to worry if your dream apparel is ruining our environment.
Wrapping Up Textile Dyeing Methods in Fashion Design
Whenever you see a striking pattern or color, keep in mind the different dyeing methods used to create a beautiful finished article of clothing.
When an emerging fashion designer wants to start a clothing line or fashion brand, having a good idea of the dyeing method is crucial.
With TEG, we hold in-depth discussions, brainstorming sessions, and more to determine which colors, dyes, and fabrics serve the clothing line and fashion designer.
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