A Guide to Different Types of Dyeing Technique

Last updated on July 23rd, 2023 at 11:15 am

Fabrics are either yarn-dyed or piece-dyed. Yarn-dyeing means that the yarns are colored before weaving. They can be stored as raw yarn and dyed when required according to the dictates of fashion. Piece-dyeing means that cloth is woven as what is known as ‘grey’ goods and is then dyed according to fashion need.

Dyeing Technique

Dyeing is how we add colors to different textile materials such as fibre, yarn, fabric, and sometimes entire garments. There are different dyeing techniques, each producing unique effects and offering different results. Here are some of the most common dyeing techniques:

Direct Dyeing

It requires only one immersion in color and has no fixing process. It is mainly used for dyeing cellulosic fibers, such as cotton and linen. It is one of the easiest processes to dye fabrics because the dyes used do not require a fixing agent to fix the dyes to the fabric.

Disperse Dyeing

It requires the fibre to be subjected to heat which makes it swell. The color is then introduced under pressure. It is done by high temperature and high pressure.

Pigment Dyeing

Pigment dyes are mixed with a binding agent and applied to the fibre. Basic, acid, and naphthyl dyes produce bright colors. Sulphur dyes have a limited color range. Chrome dyes are used on wool with an additional chemical to aid penetration of the fibre.

Natural or Vegetable Dyes

These dyes have been used traditionally for many years and often become fashionable because of their particular color characteristics.

Other Dyeing Techniques


Batik is native to java. Molten wax is applied to the cloth in a hand-painting process. The wax hardens and provides a ‘resist’, the cloth is dyed and the process can be repeated over and over again to create more complex designs. The wax is removed to reveal a cracked wax, veined appearance. The background becomes progressively deeper with repeated dyeing.

Garment Dyeing

It creates an over-dyed appearance on already constructed garments. The advantage of this process is that a combination of fabrics may have a similar tone of color.


It is a process whereby the yarns are ‘space’ dyed prior to weaving, producing a blurred effect. It is very popular, depending on fashion trends, and is a traditional oriental technique.


Ombre (shade) is a technique whereby the fabric is dyed with graduated tones from light to dark.

Other Decorative Effect


This technique uses heat to produce permanent effects on thermoplastic fibres.


This can be achieved like embossing, by applying heated rollers to the fabric, or by applying caustic soda.


It requires chemicals to be applied to the fabric which dissolves some fibres. When the cloth is drying these areas shrink, producing the pucker.


This can be achieved by impressing heat rollers onto, preferably, ribbed fabric. Light reflects on the processed ribbing to create a ‘watery’ effect.

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He is Abu Sayed, the founder of the blog site Textile Apex. He is a Textile Engineer having eight years plus practical experience in the Textile and Clothing industries. With a deep love for fashion and a keen eye for detail, he combines his creative flair with extensive knowledge to offer insightful and engaging content to his readers.
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