Friday, 3 July 2009

How to Print Using Indian Natural Dyes

General Procedure

1. Tanning of Fabric with Myrabolan Powder

If myrobalan powder is taken

a. Take 200 gms of Myrobalan powder for 1 kg of fabric

b. Make a smooth paste with water, without any lumps

c. Add water till it becomes 5 liters.

d. Mix well

e. Soak the fabric in this

f. Work the fabric in this solution at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes.

g. Squeeze the material and dry it in shade.

h. When dried, remove the unfixed material by striking it against wall.

2. Preparation of Thickening Agent

Using Tamarind Seed Powder

a. Add 100 gms of Tamarind seed powder in 1 liter of boiling wter.Sprinkle the powder in the boiling water stirring to avoid lumps.

b. Cook and mix till a fine paste is ready, cool it and filter the contents.

c. Remember that this paste is stable only for 2 to 3 days.


Take Bhagvathi gum, add 30 to 50 gms of powder for 1 liter of water. It is also soluble in cold water.

This paste has better stability

Avoid Gum Arabic.

3. Mordanting the Solution with Mineral Salts

Take the mineral salts according to the following formula:

x parts of mineral salts
15 to 20% boiling water
70% thickening agent
to make it 100%.

The following are the general guidelines for getting the dark shades.

Alum= 10%, available by the name of Fitkari
Potassium Dichromate= 5%, available as Lal Kashish
Copper Sulphate= 10%, available by the name of mor Thuth
Ferrous Sulphate= 1 to 5%, available by the name of Hira Kashish
Iron Solution = 50%

Iron solution is made by the following procedure:

a. Take 2 kg of Iron Pieces, 1 to 1.5 kg of Jaggery and add 20 liters of water.

b. Keep in a plastic container for 3-4 weeks

Tin Chloride= 0.5 to 1.0 %

The Procedure for making the paste is:

a. Ground the mineral salt into powder form.
b. Add water and boil.
c. When completely dissolved, add the thickening agent.

The paste is ready for the printing process

4. Printing

Now Print the fabric using blocks. Dry and wash as follows:

5. Washing

 When washing in river keep the printed portion face down so that it touches water. Wash for about 5 to 10 minutes, printed portion is not touched. Care should be taken that printed portion should not touch the unprinted portion.

After washing, dry in flat on the ground. Dont hang. Now the fabric is ready for developing.

6. Developing of Color

Fabric is developed using traditional material. For yellow ranges Pomegranate rind ( Anar ka Chilka) or Forest Yellow (Amba Haldi) 50% or Moduga flowers ( Desuda phool) are taken. For Pinks to reds maroons Alizarin(0.5% with 10-20% Dhavdi flowers added to dye bath), Mnajistha(25-50%) is taken, for grey ranges: Rathanjoth(30% to 50%), Ferrous Sulphate is taken, for brown range: catechu ( Katha) and its componets are taken.

 Powder the dye and mix and boil with water for 3-4 boils. Filter it. Make a dye bath with material to Liquor ratio of 1:20 at 50 deg C. Add the solution in it. Enter the fabric ( already mordanted ) in it. Work well and raise the temperature to boil. Dye for 30-40 minutes. Wash and soap. Dry in shade.

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